Silky smooth and creamy, with loads of umami, that’s Adoray, a soft cheese with a mixed rind, wrapped with spruce bark.
What’s umami, you ask? Umami comes from the Japanese word for delicious, umai. Umami translates roughly to “deliciousness” and often stands in for “savory” or “meaty.”
It was only 30 years ago that umami was recognized as a distinct taste, one of the five basic tastes, the others being sweetness, sourness, bitterness and saltiness. It was only in 2006 that University of Miami neuroscientists were able to locate the taste-bud receptors for umami, validating the existence of the fifth taste.
Scientifically speaking, umami refers to the taste of glutamate. Glutamate, or glutamic acid, is a common amino acid in vegetable and animal proteins—and cheese.
L’Adoray is made with pasteurized cow’s milk by Fromagerie Montebello located on the Québec side of the Ottawa River one hour east of Ottawa.
The cheese dairy was established in 2011 following the meeting of two men, Alain Boyer and Guy Boucher. Having worked as a cheesemaker in the past, Boyer dreamed of owning his own cheesemaking business. Understanding that such a project would be difficult to bring to fruition on his own, he was fortunate to meet Guy Boucher, an accountant by training, who dreamed of owning his own business. Boucher took on the financial aspects of the enterprise while Boyer looked after cheesemaking.
Fromagerie Montebello officially opened its doors in June 2011. Located in the former Louis-Joseph Papineau seigneurie, Fromagerie Montebello makes fine cheeses in a nod to the famous 18th century politician.
L’Adoray has an orangey rind and an ivory-coloured, supple and creamy paste. Strapped with spruce bark, it features lactic, woodsy aromas and slightly spicy flavours of butter, wood and straw.
The cheese was introduced to the public upon the Fromagerie’s fifth anniversary in 2016. It’s named for the grandfather and father of Cheesemaker Alain Boyer: Adorice and Raymond.
The silky result is a wonderful mouth-feel packed with umami flavours. One could easily over-indulge.
Nathalie Schofield, who works with me at Canadian Cheese Awards as liaison with cheesemakers in Québec—and who adores Adoray, recommends pairing it with a Riesling or a sweeter white like a Gewürztraminer or Viognier.
This style of cheese, wrapped with spruce bark, has its roots in Europe, the classic example being Vacherin Mont d’Or.
L’Adoray has a rustic rind, pinkish in colour. The small, 160-gram wheel has a beautiful ivory paste with a silky sheen. Soft and gooey. Medium nose, with a savoury forest-like aroma. There is a hint of spicy damp hay on the palate, there is a taste of bacon in the rind. The cheese literally melts on the tongue, with much smacking of the lips long afterward.
A unique Canadian cheese, generally available in stores and shops, distributed by Aux Terroirs.
Georgs Kolesnikovs, cheesehead-in-chief at CheeseLover.ca, is chairman and founder of Canadian Cheese Awards and founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.