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Posts Tagged ‘Savvy Company Vanessa Simmons’

Fresh Cheese: Taste of Italy Now in Ottawa

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, November 29th, 2012

This week’s cheese pick was inspired by my recent tour around Italy and the empty place left in my heart (and stomach) for the country’s fresh, homemade, melt in your mouth, soft artisan cheeses. After living on fresh cheese daily for almost a month, I’m thrilled to return home to discover new finds at my local cheese haunt – Bella Cassara Mozzarella di Buffala, Burrata & Fiore di Latte made by Quality Cheese in Toronto.  Italy’s finest is made here with a touch of Canadian flair by three Borgo brothers who believe passionately in making cheese from the heart that reflects in their product. “Do it right or don’t do it at all” is the motto.

In Ottawa, we can now experience the luxury of hand crafted silky artisan Mozzarella di Buffala as it’s meant to be.  Enjoy the fresh, mild, milky flavor and smooth silky texture of this oh so versatile cheese made from local buffalo (yes, waterbuffalo) milk.  The small, soft, delicate hand pulled rounds pair perfectly with both sweet and savory accoutrements.  Michael’s Dolce Strawberry Balsamic Jam comes to mind.  Chestnut honey, or Seed to Sausage Speck are my latest favorites.

These cheeses are available exclusively at The Piggy Market in Westboro.  If you’re lucky, you might happen upon rare sister cheeses Burrata (small, fresh, pouch-like cheese stuffed with cream & mozzarella curd) or Fiore di Latte (small cow’s milk drops) too.  Bellisimo!


FACTBOX: This Canadian version of Buffalo Mozzarella is a bit sweeter than its Italian cousin due to the fact that salt is added as the cheese is made as opposed to after, with salt water brining (which also develops a thin skin like rind).
Cheese:  Mozzarella di Buffala (Buffalo Mozzarella)
Producer: Quality Cheese
PHOTO CREDIT:  Mozzarella di Buffala by Vanessa Simmons

 Enjoy! – Vanessa





Blue cheese you’ll die for!

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

As the temperature falls, I prefer cozy evenings indoors, crackling fires, big spicy red wines & slow cooked comfort food.  And to go with them is this week’s cheese pick, the perfect cold weather curd, Bleu D’Élizabeth.  Produced by family run Fromagerie du Presbytère, in the central region of Québec, it’s named for the small, recently-restored rectory that houses the cheese factory in the village of Sainte-Elizabeth-de-Warwick. 

This beautiful, semi-soft, raw organic cow’s milk blue cheese has a natural rind with spots of dark clay.  The creamy, silky, melt-in-your mouth paste (inside of the cheese) is speckled with blue and blue-green veins throughout from the presence of Pénicillium Roqueforti (what makes a blue cheese turn blue).  Bleu D’Élizabeth is rich in flavor, with a hint of sweetness and spice, without being overbearingly salty.  Cold Canadian nights call for this hearty blue on your cheese board, either shining on its own, or playing a starring role as your dessert plate, joined by your favorite local ice wine, iced cider or port.

Cheese:  Bleu D’Élizabeth

Producer:  Fromagerie du Presbytère
Interesting Fact: The piquant (spicy) flavor in blue cheese is a result of mold development (veins) due to exposure to air.


Enjoy! – Vanessa


Niagara Artisan cheese worth its weight in gold

Posted by Vanessa

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

This week’s summer fun cheese pick is Niagara Gold, a semi-firm, washed-rind cow’s milk cheese from Upper Canada Cheese Company, in Jordan Station, Niagara — producers who are dedicated to making high quality, handcrafted artisan cheeses. You’ll notice the beautiful, golden yellow slightly open paste (inside of the cheese showing small holes) & darker apricot/peach coloured rind. Niagara Gold is so distinct that it’s reminiscent of a solid bar of 24K gold.

This beauty has a tinge of sweetness & tastes rich, buttery, creamy & slightly nutty, due to the Guernsey cow’s milk used to make it. Guernsey cows yield richer milk, higher in butterfat and protein, than other breeds and there are less than a dozen herds in Canada. While made in Ontario – Niagara Gold can be enjoyed here in the Nation’s Capital, from coast to coast in Canada and has been requested from as far away as Shanghai. Claim to fame? Prince Charles enjoyed Niagara Gold on his visit to Niagara last year.


Niagara Gold
Upper Canada Cheese Company
Where To Buy:
Ottawa BagelShop & Deli (Westboro)
Interesting Fact:
Guernsey cow milk is high in beta carotene, producing the extra burst of golden colour lending Niagara Gold its name.

Enjoy! – Vanessa