Thursday, July 06, 2017

“Age is something that doesn’t matter, unless you are a cheese.”

– Billie Burke

As Canadians from coast-to-coast celebrate Canada’s 150th anniversary, there is no better time to shine a light on the rich history of cheese making and acknowledge that Canadian cheese is creative, expressive and as diverse as the people who make it. To commemorate the anniversary, Dairy Farmers of Canada are proud to highlight three distinct Canadian cheeses from local cheese makers - a cheddar from Prince Edward Island, a blue cheese from Ontario and a brie
from British Columbia, that showcase Canada’s tradition of producing high-quality, great tasting cheese.

I gathered a group of cheese loving friends, broke out the crackers and got stuck in.  It's a tough job, but somebody has to do it!

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Cows Creamery, Prince Edward Island
Aged for 14 months in carefully monitored temperature and humidity conditions, this cheddar is firm in texture and has a rich full-bodied flavour. Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar is a highly-awarded cheese, receiving accolades since 2008. Made by Cows Creamery in Prince Edward Island, the cheese is made with milk from local Prince Edward Island farms and because no point on the island is more than 20 miles or so from the ocean, the salt air and iron-rich red soil add to the flavour and quality of their products.

Devil’s Rock, Thornloe Cheese Inc., Ontario

Devil’s Rock is a creamy blue cheese in a uniquely shaped pyramid and encased in black wax. Devil’s Rock itself is an iconic rock surface overlooking Lake Temiskaming and onward into Quebec. This award-winning cheese represents the rugged Canadian terrain of the Canadian Shield. Thornloe Cheese Inc. is farmer owned, sourcing dairy from the region of Northern Ontario where the air is fresh, the waters are clean and pastures are green. You can taste the difference in their hand making cheese practices.

Comox Brie, Natural Pastures, British Columbia
Comox Brie is a soft bloomy rind cheese. It has a thin and moist downy white rind, a traditional, gentle yet slightly buttery taste, pungent mushroom aromas and a delightful, creamy texture that becomes runny over time as the cheese ripens from outside in. It’s named after Comox, a small town near Courtenay, Vancouver Island, where Natural Pastures, the cheesemaker, is located. Natural Pastures is committed to making sustainable farming a priority every step of the way, including choosing milk suppliers on the island.

Historically, cheese making in Canada is double-stranded, woven from the country’s rich French and English heritage – French settlers brought over methods for making soft, ripened cheeses, while United Empire Loyalists fleeing the American Revolution, introduced the distinctly British characteristics of cheddar. While cheese making in Canada can be traced back to the early 1600s when French explorer and founder of the Quebec settlements, Samuel de Champlain first introduced cattle to the region, it wasn’t until 1864, that American immigrant Harvey Farrington employed new technology to set up the very first Canadian cheese factory, ‘The Pioneer’ in Norwich, Ontario. By 1867, the year of Confederation, over 200 cheese factories were established in Ontario alone and the foundation for the creation and production of distinct Canadian cheese was set.

“Our great Canadian cheeses start with 100% Canadian quality milk, which are produced by our passionate dairy farmers in a sustainable way,” said Sebastien Bergeron, Director of Marketing for DFC. “We want all of Canada to join us in celebrating generations of Canadian dairy farmers who have fed our nation for 150 years, and who provide cheesemakers with the milk they need to create great Canadian cheese.”

Run for farmers by farmers, Dairy Farmers of Canada is the voice of Canadian dairy farmers.
Dairy Farmers of Canada is the national policy, lobbying and promotional organization representing Canada’s farmers living on approximately 12,000 dairy farms. DFC strives to create stable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. It works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy farmers and promote dairy products and their health benefits.
My cheese tasting team loved all of the cheeses but my favorite was the Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar.  I loved it's rich creamy taste and it had a great firm bite perfect for grating over this salad!  I pan seared some thinly sliced courgette (zucchini) in a searing hot griddle pan and then drizzled them with lemon juice and good olive oil.  Toss the courgette and all of the lemon juice and oil with some greens, spring onions and some thinly sliced radish.  Use a peeler to slice the cheese over the salad and enjoy!
If you have never explored Canadian Cheese I strongly suggest you do!  There are many fabulous options out there and it was a pleasure to sample these three amazing cheese.  

Coming soon to my little blog is my cocktail nod to celebrate Canada's 150th birthday.  It's not one you want to miss........

I was sent a wonderful cheese package free of charge to test for this blog post.  Images, opinions, recipes, wine and over use of exclamation marks are my very own!!!


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  2. I have never tried Canadian Cheese, I will definite buy some if I have chance. Thank you for sharing!


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