Wow, Ontario’s Glengarry Fine Cheese rules the world!
Lankaaster Aged Loaf was crowned Supreme Global Champion at the Global Cheese Awards in Frome, England, on September 14. It’s the top award in the international competition that dates back to 1861.
“Being the big cheese in the world feels pretty good,” says Margaret Peters, owner of Glengarry Fine Cheese in Lancaster, Ontario, and the lead cheesemaker. She gives full credit to Wilma Klein Swormink, the plant manager/cheesemaker who has played a key role in cheesemaking at Glengarry since its inception in 2008 and continues to produce cheese with the dedicated team at Glengarry.
Glengarry Fine Cheese and Glengarry Cheesemaking are located on the Peters family farm which has been in the family since 1967, Margaret explains. “Our ancestral roots hail from the Netherlands and our parents have laid the framework for the family farm to grow and prosper in Lancaster where our parents started their dairy and crop farm which is now in the hands of the next generation who are continuing the dairy tradition and, now, the cheese factory is building its own tradition and reputation with the hard work and dedication that our parents instilled in myself and my brother.”
Margaret shares cheesemaking responsibilities with Wilma who is also the daughter of Dutch immigrants who also came to Eastern Ontario to establish a dairy farm.
Lankaaster Aged is matured to a minimum of 10 months. The cheese entered in the competition was made in June, 2011, thus, it aged two years and a bit.
The cheesemaking team at Glengarry makes Lankaaster with pasteurized Brown Swiss milk from the Reimann Farm just north of the plant in Lancaster. It is a loaf shape, weighing 3 kilos, which is Glengarry’s traditional gouda loaf.
It’s shaped like a loaf of bread in the Dutch style to make it easy to eat the cheese as a sandwich.
Lankaaster Aged is a firm cheese, traditional rind, characteristic gouda “eyes” present, paste is dark, laden with crystals, with lovely butterscotch, pineapple and lactic notes, the veteran cheesemaker says. The cheese lingers in one’s mouth and is suitable to make any “gratin” in culinary preparations.
In addition to the overall grand prize, Glengarry’s Lankaaster Aged won the gold medal in Best Overseas Cheese (Non-European) while Glengarry’s Celtic Blue won a bronze medal in Blue Vein Cheese. Celtic Blue is also made with Brown Swiss milk and aged three months.
Fromagerie L’Ancêtre of Bécancour, Québec, was judged to produce the Best Butter in the world after its salted and unsalted butters took category honours.
It is not known how many other Canadian cheese dairies entered the annual competition.