Laliberté: Arguably, the best bloomy in all of Canada

Award-winning Laliberté: Made by Cheesemaker Jean Morin and his équipe at Fromagerie du Presbytère in Québec.

Laliberté is triple crème that will blow your mind and palate. Think aromatic, decadent, with an exquisite hint of mushrooms and wild flowers. It’s made by Jean Morin, cheesemaker extraordinaire, and his équipe in a former Roman Catholic rectory—thus, the name Fromagerie du Presbytère—in Sainte-Élizabeth-de-Warwick two hours east of Montréal.

The milk comes from the family dairy farm across the street from the rectory now creamery. Jean Morin is a fourth-generation dairy farmer, the fifth generation now works the farm, too, with a sixth generation in the toddler phase.

Award-winning Cheesemaker Jean Morin at work.

The farmstead cheese took a year and a half to develop and is made with cow’s milk provided by a mix of naturally raised Jerseys and Holsteins.

When asked what the secret is to making award-winning cheese, Morin, answers simply: “Good grass and no silage.” He elaborates: “Happy, healthy cows. It all starts with the milk, and the care we show the cheese as we make it.”

Laliberté was judged Grand Champion at the recent Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. At the most recent Canadian Cheese Awards, it was named Best Bloomy Rind Cheese.

“This cheese truly distinguished itself in texture, taste and overall appearance. Its exquisite aromatic triple cream with its tender bloomy rind encases an unctuous well-balanced flavour with hints of mushroom, pastures and root vegetables,” says Phil Bélanger, Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury chairman.

Jackie Armet, cheese co-ordinator at Canadian Cheese Awards, spotlights Laliberté “because it is simply delicious. It has so many rich qualities for a soft bloomy rind cheese. Delicate but bold in flavour with a lovely creamy finish and always the first to go on a cheese board.”

Cheese writer Sue Riedl writes in The Globe and Mail: “As any triple-cream lover would expect, it’s decadent, silky and melt-in-your mouth, but the smooth, rich paste is also bursting with complex sweet, grassy and mushroom notes; flavours not expected from a young, pasteurized cheese and a tribute to the quality of milk which comes from the Morin farm.”

Tasting tip: Take Laliberté out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature two or three hours or more before consumption.

As soon as Covid Times have ended, thousands of Jean Morin’s closest friends will resume their weekly Friday rendezvous at the fromagerie. At left is the former Roman Catholic church now converted for aging cheese, at right is the former rectory which serves as the creamery where cheese is made. In between is a small bakery. Across the street to the right is the family dairy farm. Behind the photographer is the new fromagerie cheese store. All in all, a must-visit destination for cheese lovers.

The name of the cheese comes from the name of the famed Canadian sculptor, Alfred Laliberté, who was born in Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick. Laliberté is best known for his large memorial monuments, which can be found across Quebec, as well as for his smaller sculptures depicting rural Quebec life, legends and customs.

Fromagerie du Presbytère cheeses are distributed by Plaisirs Gourmets and available in cheese shops across Canada. The award-winning cheese can also be ordered online for delivery in Québec and Ontario.

—Georgs Kolesnikovs

Georgs Kolesnikovs, cheesehead-in-chief at CheeseLover.ca, is chairman and founder of Canadian Cheese Awards and director and founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, both in lockdown on account of Covid-19.

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