Treizième Apôtre goat cheese crowned Grand Champion at The Royal

Treizième Apôtre: Grand Champion in goat, sheep, water buffalo or mixed milk division.

Treizième Apôtre made by Fromagerie du Presbytère in Québec was honoured as a Grand Champion in the 2022 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario at the 100th Anniversary Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Made from unpasteurized goat milk, Treizième Apôtre was named Grand Champion in the goat, sheep, water buffalo or mixed milk division. It also won first place in the surface ripened category.

The recognition as Grand Champion is the second such victory for Cheesemaker Jean Morin at the oldest and biggest cheese and butter competition in Canada. His Louis d’Or was honoured as Grand Champion in the cow milk division.

Treizième Apôtre—Thirteenth Apostle, in English—is a goat cheese to offer to people who say they don’t like goat cheese. It has a refined taste that is simply delicious.

It’s not a chèvre but a semi-firm cheese with a rich and creamy texture. Under a beautiful orange ocre washed rind, the uniform white paste overflows with delicate fruity notes.

Treizième Apôtre label shows the Morin family dairy farm across the street from the former church where cheese is aged.

The milk used for the cheese comes from a goat farm near Fromagerie du Presbytère in Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick in central Québec.

Why name the cheese “Thirteenth Apostle?”

“Since we make our cheese in a presbytere (a former rectory), we were looking for a name with a religious angle,” explains Stephanie Ouellet, manager of Magasin Général Ste-Élizabeth, the expansive retail store down the street from the fromagerie. “Since Jesus had 12 apôtres or apostles, we thought that the producer of the goat milk, Gérard Cinter, might be the 13th.”

Cheesemaker Jean Morin is known for his sense of humour. The whimsical nature of the cheese name is also reflected in the artwork for the packaging. It depicts the tiny village with the Morin family dairy farm across the street from the former church where these days cheese is aged.

Jean Morin, a fourth generation dairy farmer, purchased the former Roman Catholic rectory when he started cheesemaking in 2005. Ten years later he purchased the former church to develop a state-of-the-art aging facility.

Jean Morin: Fourth generation dairy farmer and award-winning cheesemaker.

Although most of the 12 cheeses the fromagerie produces are made with cow milk from the family dairy farm, Jean Morin has expanded his product line to include:

  • Taliah, a rustic cheddar made with sheep milk;
  • Les Cinter, a heavenly chèvre made with goat milk;
  • Pionnier, an Alpine-style cheese made with a blend of sheep and cow milk.

Expert judges at The Royal competition had nothing but praise for Treizième Apôtre. “A textbook perfect surface ripened cheese with a beautiful rind,” said one. “A simply gorgeous cheese,” said another.

If your favourite cheese shop doesn’t carry Treizième Apôtre, order it online from Fromagerie du Presbytère for home delivery in Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick. The fromagerie is represented by distributor Plaisirs Gourmets across Canada.

In the 2022 Cheese & Butter Competition at The Royal, there were 195 entries submitted by producers across Canada. Judging took place June 10. Complete results are posted at https://www.assistexpo.ca/results/rawf/5/

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Support for the competition was provided by the Presenting Partner, Dairy Farmers of Ontario, which has made over $30,000 in prize money available, as well as Metro which supports the competition and presents the Champions Showcase during The Fair.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair celebrates 100 years of world-class equine and agricultural excellence on November 4-13, 2022, at Exhibition Place in Toronto. It is the world’s largest combined indoor agricultural and equestrian show.

The Royal draws more than 300,000 visitors to Toronto annually to see thousands of unique entries from elite Canadian and international breeders, growers and exhibitors, more than 4,500 large and small animals, shows, activities, shopping, dining and—of course—The Royal Horse Show.

Come and experience The Royal, there’s truly something for the entire family. Click here for information and tickets.

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