Cheese the new gold?

Is this the new white gold?

Dairy has become more expensive than some top cuts of meat in Canada, and the cost is hitting restaurants and food processors the hardest, says the head of the food services industry, according to a news report by CBC News this week.

“A kilogram of cheese is more expensive than a kilogram of steak. A litre of milk is the same price as a litre of orange juice from Florida,” said Garth Whyte, president and CEO of the Canadian Restaurant and Foodservices Association.

“They now call cheese white gold,” he said. “It’s very, very expensive. I saw it today. A 500 gram brick at an [Ottawa] grocery store was on sale — $2 off. It was $6 for 500 grams, so it was $12 a kilogram. A top sirloin steak was on sale for $9 a kilogram,” said Whyte in an interview with CBC News Monday.

The association has called for a 16.5 per cent reduction in the price of industrial milk at a meeting Monday with the Canadian Dairy Commission in Ottawa.

The report got me thinking. (I hear you saying, Uh, oh!) Mr. Whyte deals with industrial milk so he’s talking mass-produced cheese, industrial rather than artisinal. The question for me is just what have I been paying recently for really good cheese?

Bonnie & Floyd, a wonderful sheep’s milk cheese, was $70 a kilogram at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese last week. My recollection is I paid the same $70 a kilo at Thin Blue Line Cheese Boutique for superb Tomme de Gaston about a month ago. At Cheese Boutique, Migneron de Charlevoix is $64.50 a kilo this week while Benedictine Blue goes for $49.90 a kilo. The six-year-old cheddar from Black River Cheese in my fridge cost $46.23 a kilo.

Clearly, Mr. Whyte would have a heart attack if he knew the price of artisinal cheese. No question, the best cheese is expensive . . . but it’s sooooooooooooo good!

And quite a bargain when compared to actual gold which today is trading at $42,751.23 a kilo.

Welcome, Cheese Lovers!

Cheesemaker for a day at Fifth Town Artisan Cheese in Prince Edward County.

A taste of Oka almost 50 years ago sparked in me a lifelong love for cheese. That love has ripened into full-blown passion as more and more mouth-watering cheeses are being churned out by artisan, farmstead and specialty cheesemakers across Canada. I’d like to share that passion by making an informative and entertaining meeting place for all who love cheese.

Expect this site to grow in scope as I’m not beholden to any one cheesemaker or one style of cheese. Heck, there are even excellent mass-produced cheeses out there! Although my initial focus will be on my home province, Ontario, glorious Quebec and other regions of Canada will receive their due.

Visit often as I aim to add new content regularly. And please do leave a comment as feedback is always welcome.

—Georgs Kolesnikovs