Feels so strange . . . and empty. This is the first first week of June since 2011 that we have not been hosting either The Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Prince Edward County or Artisan Cheese Night Market at St. Lawrence Market in Toronto.
Here’s a video shot at the very first Cheese Festival in 2011, as a promotion for the 2012 event. The video perfectly captures the spirit of Cheese Lover events.
The final Great Canadian Cheese Festival took place in 2017. The Artisan Cheese Night Market was held in 2018 and 2019. Who knows what the future will bring, especially in these Covid Times?
Stay informed about future cheese events by signing up to follow CheeseLover.ca by email in upper right.
In the meantime, a really good selection of Canadian cheese can be ordered online for delivery to your home on the Shop Online page.
Canada’s Artisan Cheese Night Market is a unique sampling show where consumers can taste and buy cheese, charcuterie, chocolate, roasted nuts, shortbread, olive oil, drunken jams, gourmet butter, ginger tonic, chutney, and small-batch wine and craft beer and cider, and spirits, and much more. 19+
Tickets are still available for Session 1 (12 noon to 3 pm) and Session 2 (3:30 to 6:30 pm). Session 3 (7 to 10 pm) has SOLD OUT.
It’s all happening at historic St. Lawrence Market’s Temporary North Hall at 125 The Esplanade in downtown Toronto.
Vanessa Simmons is crazy about cheese. The Toronto Star described her as being “openly fanatical about artisan cheese.”
She’ll demonstrate her passion during a Tutored Tasting on how best to pair artisan cheese with craft beer at Canada’s Artisan Cheese Night Market. It’s much more of a natural pairing than, say, wine and cheese.
They’re informative, they’re entertaining—and you get to taste the very best in Canadian cheese at Artisan Cheese Night Market Tutored Tastings.
Each presentation features six to eight fabulous Canadian artisan and farmstead cheeses, selected artisan condiments, plus offerings of Ontario wine, craft beer or cider, all from Artisan Cheese Night Market vendors and exhibitors.
The two topics run concurrently from 6:00 to 7:00 p.m., so pick the one topic that appeals to you most. Admission is $45 per person, 19+.
Have you ever seen how fresh mozzarella is made and stretched until it is butter-soft, milky and velvety? Have you inhaled the creamy aroma?
At the upcoming Artisan Cheese Night Market, Mozzarella Master Angelo Pelosi will demonstrate the ancient craft that he first learned more than 50 years ago in his native Puglia, the capital of fresh Mozzarella in Italy.
Angelo came to Canada to make cheese for the Borgo family at Quality Cheese in Vaughan, Ontario, a half-century ago. Now retired, he still enjoys coming to Quality Cheese to help train the next generation of Pasta Filata specialists and help out when things get busy.
Angelo will be stretching Mozzarella with cow’s milk. He also makes Trecche with fresh arugula, a classic recipe from Puglia. Angelo does private hand-stretching functions for weddings and food events as a side business.
At the Night Market, Angelo will demonstrate the craft at 2:00 p.m. during Session 1 and at 3:30 p.m. during Session 2, in booth space adjacent to Quality Cheese where the freshly made mozzarella will be sold to consumers.
Grand Trunk is a best-seller for good reason: It tastes great, it really does!
Grand Trunk, the most popular cheese made by Stonetown Artisan Cheese in St. Marys, Ontario, is named after the historic railway bridge of the former Grand Trunk Railway in St. Marys.
On the outside of the cheese, the rind does have an old rustic look, just like the historic bridge.
But cut open a wheel and inhale the aroma. You’re immediately transported to the Swiss Alps where the fragrance of alpine meadows fills the air, mingling with a robust aroma of dairy.
Place a piece in your mouth and let it melt. It’s so rich and creamy, so packed with layers of flavour, with a nice balance of salt.
That’s award-winning Grand Trunk, the pride of cheesemakers Jolanda and Hans Weber who came to Canada in 1996 from their native Switzerland, with three children in tow, to begin a new life in St. Marys on their own dairy farm.
“Having previously worked in the Swiss Alps, it was always our dream to produce delicious, high quality cheese reminiscent of the renowned Swiss mountains and made from our own milk,” the Webers explain. “With a profound commitment to creating cheese of the highest quality, and the support of our family, as well as Ramon Eberle, a Master Cheesemaker from Switzerland, our humble dream became a reality.”
Fresh milk comes from 250 Holstein cows—who sleep on beach sand all year round. Two sons, together with their families, look after the cows while Jolanda and Hans handcraft the farmstead cheese: “In order to obtain a great taste, the milk is unpasteurized and has no additives. This ensures the cheese is pure and natural.”
The milk is thermized, which means its heated to reduce spoilage bacteria with minimum collateral heat damage to milk components. Artisan cheesemakers prefer thermization to pasteurization as the former does not cause changes in flavour.
You’ll have a chance to meet Jolanda and Hans and sample their delicious cheese at Canada’s Artisan Cheese Night Market at historic St. Lawrence Market’s Temporary North Hall in Toronto on June 6.
“We will bring our award-winning cheeses like Wildwood, Homecoming, Farmstead Fontina, Farmstead Emmental and, of course, our most famous cheese, our Grand Trunk. We also make some goat milk cheeses and we will bring our Amazing Grey. The recipe for Amazing Grey is the same as for the Grand Trunk but with goat milk.”
Grand Trunk, which is aged six to nine months, was crowned Grand Champion in Specialty Cheese at the 2018 British Empire Cheese Competition.
Grand Trunk tastes excellent in sandwiches or just on a cheese platter with fruits, dried meat and rustic bread. It is a great cheese for fondue or grilled cheese sandwiches. Due to its unique flavor, the cheese pairs well with both red and white wines.
We’ll go for months without Pizy, and then, when we taste it again, we fall in love all over again.
There is no question Le Pizy, created by Cheesemaker Fabienne Mathieu at Fromagerie La Suisse Normande in St.-Roch-de-L’Achigan, Québec, is one of Canada’s best farmstead cheeses. When it comes to aroma, flavour and texture, Pizy is simply outstanding, and pretty in appearance, too.
We were first introduced to Pizy while spending too much money on cheese one afternoon years ago at Marché Jean Talon in Montréal in the company of Vanessa Simmons, arguably Canada’s leading cheese sommelier.
Vanessa’s tasting notes tell all:
Pizy has and remains one of my favourite top 10 Canadian cheeses, for sure. It’s even better if you keep it past the best-before date on the package by at least a week or two or more.
The cheese has more yeasty notes when it’s young which develops into more of a mushroomy, slightly nutty flavour as it ages. It’s very pretty, with the most delicate hue of champagne.
This small, soft, surface-ripened pasteurized cow’s milk cheese is fashioned after the Swiss Tomme Vaudoise, due to its shape (small wheel) and size (only ½-inch thick). Le Pizy has a thick bloomy ivory rind, with a rich, dense, paste coloring between ivory and pearl. Experience big milky, fresh field mushroom aromas and a fresh lactic taste with a sweet tang when it’s young, softening out as it ages.
The hand-crafted cheese produced at Fromagerie La Suisse Normande represents the marriage of two cultures, Swiss and French. Cheesemaker Fabienne Mathieu comes from Switzerland, husband Frédérick Guitel who manages the farm comes from Normandy in France.
Their resulting cow, goat and sheep’s milk products are a marriage made in heaven. Cheeses are made from animals raised on the farm, in true “fermier” (farmstead) fashion.
Of their five children, three want to ensure the continuity of their parents’ work: Bénédicte and Magaly at the fromagerie and Thibault on the farm.
The fromagerie began its activities in 1995 on the farm 50 kilometres north of Montréal.
Fromagerie La Suisse Normande will be represented by Plaisirs Gourmets at Canada’s Artisan Cheese Night Market on June 6 in historic St. Lawrence Market’s Temporary North Hall in Toronto.
TICKETS ARE SELLING QUICKLY, SO DON’T DELAY ORDERING YOURS!
Canada’s only Artisan Cheese Night Market is a unique sampling show where you try before you buy, located in Toronto’s historic St. Lawrence Market Complex, one day only, Thursday, June 6.
Try and buy the best artisan and farmstead cheeses in Canada
Meet cheesemakers from coast to coast
Try and buy artisan foods, charcuterie, chocolate and more
Sample Ontario wine, craft beer and cider, and spirits
Purchase and enjoy tasty eats from specialty food vendors
Live entertainment will keep the celebration going all night long.
Order your tickets right away as the event is sure to sell out!
To avoid overcrowding, the Night Market runs in three three-hour sessions, 12 noon to 3:00 p.m., 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., and 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. Strictly 19+.
Admission to the Early-Bird Session 12 noon to 3:00 p.m. is $30.00 per person. Regular admission is $40.00 per person for Session 2 or Session 3. Click on the Eventbrite button to begin your order.
Your ticket covers sampling of award-winning Canadian cheese, charcuterie, chocolate, artisan foods, olive oil, plus Ontario wine, craft beer and cider, and spirits. That’s correct, sampling is included in the price of admission. PLUS: Also included is an insulated souvenir tote bag for your purchases.
Order tickets in advance online, avoid having to line up to buy a ticket at the event and quickly access all the deliciousness via the Night Market’s Express Entrance.
For the Artisan Cheese Night Market, historic St. Lawrence Market’s Temporary North Hall at 125 The Esplanade will transform into a celebration of the best in Canadian cheese and other deliciousness.
Using public transit to get to St. Lawrence Market is a snap. Union Station, with GO, Via Rail and TTC subway stops, is an 11-minute walk. The Yonge subway stop at King is a 12-minute walk. The Market is mere minutes from TTC streetcar stops at Jarvis on the King and Queen lines. There also is a Jarvis bus that stops steps from the Market.
Taxi and Uber will get you there even quicker.
If you’re coming by car, designate a driver for a safe trip home as there will sampling of alcoholic beverages at the Night Market, if you’re so inclined. There will also be a cash bar.
If you’re driving, best place to park is the Green P parking garage with entrances at south end of Church Street and south end of Market Street:
Carpark 43 ~ St. Lawrence Garage ~ 2 Church Street
Also enter from Market Street just south of St. Lawrence Market
Rate: $2.50 / Half Hour
Capacity: 2,008 spaces (Yes, 2,008!)
Payment Options: Auto Express Pay Stations, Credit Card at Entry & Exit, Customer Assistance Booth
Accepted Forms of Payment: Bills, Coins, Charge (Visa / Mastercard / American Express Only)
Available at all price levels within walking distance of St. Lawrence Market.
WHO WE ARE
Canada’s only Artisan Cheese Night Market is produced by Cheese Lover Productions Inc. which also produces Canadian Cheese Awards and The Great Canadian Cheese Festival. In 2018, Artisan Cheese Night Market was first held in conjunction with Canadian Cheese Awards. Given the enthusiastic response from cheese lovers, the Night Market returns in 2019 as a stand-alone event.