Punching above your weight at Royal cheese competition

Cheesemaker Jason Fuoco face-to-face with a water buffalo at Fromagerie Fuoco north of Montréal.

You know there is hope for the future of artisan cheesemaking in Canada when smaller cheesemakers punch well above their weight in a major competition such as the 2021 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Cheeemaker Cindy Hope of Cross Wind Farm at Keene, Ontario.

That was the torch held high by Jason Fuoco and Cindy Hope in the oldest cheese competition in Canada that dates back 99 years to 1922 when the Fair was first held at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

Fuoco, the exquisite soft washed rind cheese that Jason Fuoco makes with the rich milk from his herd of 60 water buffalo in the Lanaudière region of Québec, was crowned Grand Champion in Goat, Sheep, Water Buffalo and Mixed Milk Cheese.
Cindy Hope, who creates lovely goat’s milk cheese on the farm she and her husband, Kevin, run near Peterborough, Ontario, won two first-place ribbons with her signature Artisan Chèvres and another first with Maggie Smoked Gouda.
Jason started making cheese in 2012, Cindy a few years earlier.
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Perennial winner Margaret Morris and her team at Glengarry Fine Cheese of Lancaster, Ontario, brought home three first-place awards while Balderson Cheese of Winchester, Ontario, making cheddar since 1881, pretty well swept the cheddar category.
Miranda, made by Fritz Kaiser of Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, one of the earliest pioneers of artisan cheese in Québec and, indeed, Canada, was named Grand Champion among all cow-milk cheeses.
Here are all winners in the 2021 competition at The Royal:
COW MILK
Grand Champion
Miranda, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, Noyan, Quebec, Cheesemaker Fritz Kaiser
Firm and Hard, Surface Ripened, Natural or Brushed Rind
Miranda, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, Noyan, Quebec, Cheesemaker Fritz Kaiser
Fresh Unripened Cheese, Natural
St. John’s Fresh Cheese, Portuguese Cheese Co., Toronto, Cheesemaker Jaime Ortiz
Fresh Pasta Filata
Bella Casara Burrata, Quality Cheese, Vaughan, Ontario
Cheese with Grilling Properties, Natural or Flavoured
Braséo, Fromagerie La Vache à Maillotte, La Sarre, Québec, Cheesemaker Éric Beauchamps
Soft Cheese, Mixed or Washed Rind
Figaro, Glengarry Fine Cheese, Lancaster, Ontario, Cheesemakers Margaret Morris, Billy McDonell, Connie De Melo
Semi-Soft, Interior Ripened
Mild Gouda, That Dutchman’s Cheese Farm, Economy, Nova Scotia
Semi-Soft, Surface Ripened
Fleur-en-Lait, Glengarry Fine Cheese, Lancaster, Ontario, Cheesemakers Margaret Morris, Billy McDonell, Connie De Melo
Firm and Hard, Interior Ripened
Gouda 2-Year, Mountainoak Cheese, New Hamburg, Ontario, Cheesemaker Adam Van Bergeijk
Feta or Feta Style
Light Feta, Krinos Foods Canada Ltd., Vaughan, Ontario, Cheesemaker Emmanouil Georgantelis
Blue Cheese
Celtic Blue Reserve, Glengarry Fine Cheese, Lancaster, Ontario, Cheesemakers Margaret Morris, Billy McDonell, Connie De Melo
Flavoured Cheese (except smoked)
Wild Nettle, Mountainoak Cheese, New Hamburg, Ontario, Cheesemaker Adam Van Bergeijk
Flavoured Cheese, Naturally Smoked
Bleu Fumé, Fromagerie Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Québec
GOAT, SHEEP, WATER BUFFALO & MIXED MILK
Grand Champion
Fuoco, Fromagerie Fuoco, St. Lin Laurentides, Québec, Cheesemaker Jason Fuoco
Surface Ripened
Fuoco, Fromagerie Fuoco, St. Lin Laurentides, Québec, Cheesemaker Jason Fuoco
Fresh Unripened Cheese, Natural
Artisan Chèvre Original, Cross Wind Farm, Keene, Ontario, Cheesemaker Cindy Hope
Fresh Unripened Cheese, Flavoured
Artisan Chèvre Cranberry Orange, Cross Wind Farm, Keene, Ontario, Cheesemaker Cindy Hope
Interior Ripened
Le Moutier, Fromagerie Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Québec
Flavoured Cheese
Maggie Smoked Gouda, Cross Wind Farm, Keene, Ontario, Cheesemaker Cindy Hope
CHEDDAR

Grand Champion Cheddar, Ontario Champion Cheddar, Silver Trier Award – Highest Aggregate Score
Balderson Medium Cheddar, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario
Medium Cheddar, 4 to 9 months
Balderson Medium Cheddar, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario
Mild Cheddar, up to 3 months
Balderson Mild Cheddar, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario
Old/Extra Old Cheddar, 9 to 24 months
Balderson Extra Old Cheddar, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario
Aged Cheddar, 2 years and older
Maple Dale 3-Year Cheddar, Maple Dale Cheese, Trenton, Ontario, Cheesemaker Cory Armstrong
BUTTER
Grand Champion
Lactantia Cultured Salted Butter, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario
Cultured, salted or unsalted
Lactantia Cultured Salted Butter, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario
Grass Fed or Organic, Unsalted
Temiskaming Valley Gras Fed Unsalted Butter, Thornloe Cheese, Thornloe, Ontario
Grass Fed or Organic, Salted
Gay Lea Grass-Fed Salted Butter, Gay Lea Foods Cooperative, Mississauga, ON
For complete results, visit 2021 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

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