Louis d’Or crowned Grand Champion at The Royal—again

Grand Champion: Louis d’Or made by Fromagerie du Presbytère in Sainte Elizabeth de Warwick, Québec.

Louis d’Or is truly the King of Cheese in Canada.

The Alpine-style cheese made by Jean Morin and his équipe at Fromagerie du Presbytère in Québec has won the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. It has been honoured as Cheese of the Year at the Canadian Cheese Awards. It has been recognized as the Best Cheese in Quebec at the Caseus competition—twice.

Now, Louis d’Or 18 months has been crowned Grand Champion in the cow milk division at the 2022 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario at the 100th Anniversary Royal Agricultural Winter Fair—eight years after it was crowned Grand Champion at The Royal the first time!

No other Canadian cheese has won all four of the most prestigious competitions in Canada.

Here’s what Cheese Sommelier Vanessa Simmons of Ottawa has to say about Louis d’Or:

Made in monster-sized 40-kilogram wheels, this washed-rind raw cow milk cheese is cooked, pressed and aged from 9 to 24 months with extra care taken during the ripening process. Resulting is a smooth, rich-textured paste encased in an antique gold, amber-colored rind. Aromas range from butter to onion and ripe pineapple. A complex mix of sweet, salty and dominant nutty, meaty flavors finish with a tingle at the back of the palate that lingers thanks to raw milk.

“Balance is achieved with a grand array of flavours blending into a mélange of excellence,” one judge at The Royal competition commented. Said another: “The aroma is nutty and herbal, the complex flavours are fantastic.”

What’s the secret of the success of Louis d’Or?

“Happy, healthy cows,” Cheesemaker Jean Morin says. “It all starts with the milk, and the care we show the cheese as we make it.”

Jean Morin is the fourth generation Morin to run the dairy farm known as Ferme Louis d’Or in Sainte Elizabeth de Warwick, a tiny village two hours east of Montréal. His children represent the fifth generation: Thomas, Charles, Alexis and Èva. A daughter-in-law, Stephanie, manages the retail store. Meet the Morin family and take a tour of the farm and fromagerie in the video:

Fromagerie du Presbytère dates back to 2005 when Jean Morin purchased the former Roman Catholic rectory across the street from the family dairy farm. (Presbytère is the French word for rectory.)

When we first visited in 2010, Jean Morin had just started making Louis d’Or, inspired by what he saw and learned from old-world cheesemakers in the Jura Mountains that straddle the border between France and Switzerland, the home of renowned Comté cheese as well as Morbier, Emmental, Mont-d’or, Gex Blue and Vacherin du Haut-Doub.

He told us he had high hopes Louis d’Or would become equally famous in Québec and Canada. “It has the right taste,” he assured us.

The past decade has proven him right. Louis d’Or has become widely known and praised for its fine, complex flavours.

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

In 2015, Jean Morin paid $1 to purchase the Roman Catholic church in Sainte Elizabeth de Warwick, across the street from the farm and adjacent to the rectory turned fromagerie, then poured $1 million into conversion for affinage.

The former church can house up to 3,000 wheels of Louis d’Or. They are looked after by Pat, the name given to a $300,000 Swiss-made robot that lifts, brushes and rotates the 40-kilo wheels of cheese weekly. Since the aging space is more than five meters high, the robot not only ensures uniformity but also protects employees from the hazards of manually handling wheels of cheese that weigh 40 kilos or close to 90 pounds.

Louis d’Or cheese gets its name from Ferme Louis d’Or where 140 milking cows produce the milk used to make it and other cheeses. The name of the cheese also refers to the French currency of the same name used under the reign of Louis XIII in 1640.

The longer Louis d’Or is aged the more all that aroma and flavour only elevate the taste experience to a sublime degree. It’s rich and creamy, with floral notes and hints of nuttiness, a wonderful example of Canadian cheese at its finest.

If your favourite cheese shop doesn’t carry Louis d’Or, order it online for home delivery in Ontario, Québec and New Brunswick.

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/

Also see:

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.

Cows Creamery cheddar crowned Grand Champion at The Royal

Armand Bernard, lead cheesemaker at Cows Creamery in Charlottetown, P.E.I. since 2006.

Cows Creamery has done it again.

The Extra Old Cheddar made by the P.E.I. cheese producer was honoured as Grand Champion Cheddar in the 2022 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario at the 100th Anniversary Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

The victory in the oldest and biggest cheese and butter competition in Canada represents the latest in a long list of awards garnered by a remarkable cheddar whose recipe hails from the Orkney Islands north of mainland Scotland.

In 2004, Cows Creamery owner Scott Linkletter visited the Orkney Islands where his family has roots. He fell in love with the taste of the local cheese and returned with a recipe for traditional English cheddar and a dream to make cheese with local milk in P.E.I.

Linkletter enlisted the help of Armand Bernard, who had already been working at Cows as an ice-cream maker for 10 years, meaning Bernard was no stranger to transforming P.E.I. milk into something extraordinary.

Cows Creamery introduced Extra Old Cheddar to the world in 2006.

They developed Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar and the wonderful aged cheddar that in 2014 was selected as the World’s Best Aged Cheddar and last week at The Royal as Canada’s best cheddar—for, it seems, the umpteenth time.

The recipe for all cheddars made by Cows Creamery is essentially the same—except for the aging process and length of time in affinage.

Bernard, the lead cheesemaker at Cows since 2006, is known for his meticulous attention to detail. Andrea White, wholesale manager at Cows, says his consistency is part of the reason Cows Creamery products are a cut above the rest: “Armand leads a team of professionals that never waiver on the quality and precision of their work. Every day is different; from cloth-binding fresh wheels of cheddar, to flipping and vacuuming the cheeses as they age in their caves, ensuring uniformity in their aging—consistency is always part of the job”.

Bernard believes high-quality P.E.I. milk plays a key role in their success. Cows Creamery works with a local dairy co-op that supports 160 small, family-run farms on the island. The average herd size is a mere 65 Holstein cattle and care is taken by each farmer to maintain clean farming practices. Throughout the year, the cows graze on clay- and iron-rich pasture and eat a mixed diet of hay, grain, and silage. Sea salt and minerals are naturally occurring in the environment, too, which gives the cheeses unique earthy notes.

No point on the island is more than 30 kilometres or so from the sea.

The Extra Old Cheddar is aged for at least 18 months. It’s made with vegetable rennet, all natural, with no colour added. The cheese is made with unpasteurized milk: The milk is gently heated, which preserves the micro-organisms and enzymes in raw milk that give cheddar its characteristic flavour.

Like wine, cheese has a terroir, says Bernard. “The area it’s produced in—whether it’s the nutrients in the soil or the air the cows breathe—has certain things that can’t be replicated. On the island, we’re surrounded by water. We have the red soil. I don’t believe I could take the same recipe to central or western Canada and create the same product.”

For Cows Creamery, Bernard says, the trick to making “absolutely delicious” cheese is the aging process.

“The real flavour comes with time as the cheese ages,” he says. “Some cheese will get sharper, ours becomes more flavourful, with more depth of character.”

Bernard grew up on a small farm near Tignish, about 150 kilometres northwest of Charlottetown where Cows Creamery is based.

“We were a small farm, milked 24 cows. I had six brothers and sisters. It was all hands on deck. We had chores in the barn before we went to school and helped with the milking at night. Summers were spent at home working the fields. It was an awesome way to grow up.”

Did your family make anything with the milk?

“No, but we drank two gallons a day when everybody was home. It was delicious. In the summertime, you’d have the cream rise to the top, and you’d have it on strawberry shortcake. I got to know milk well.”

Culture magazine, the leading publication about cheese in the English-speaking world, had this to say about the taste of Cows Creamery Extra Old Cheddar:

“Although on first glance the texture of this cheese is semi-firm and crumbly, on the palate it’s unexpectedly creamy and smooth, melting in the mouth. Its great taste hits you immediately, with a notable tang and sourness that interplays with a mild sharpness. An initial hint of sweetness can be detected, as well as rich, full toasted nut and buttery cashew aromas and notes of pineapple, chive and sweet cream.”

Cows Creamery is based at 12 Milky Way in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.

COWS Ice Cream has been a family tradition on Prince Edward Island since 1983. From a small kiosk on the famous Cavendish Boardwalk in Charlottetown, the COWS brand now has seven locations across P.E.I, four in Nova Scotia, and one each is Whistler, Banff, Niagara-on-the-Lake, Quebec City and Beijing, China. The COWS brand has expanded over the years with cheese and butter lines, as well as the popular COWS-themed merchandise.

Raspberry Point Oyster Co. is a sister company shipping choice oysters throughout Canada, U.S.A., Europe and Asia. The company started as a bit of a hobby for Scott Linkletter and his father who harvested oysters near the family summer home in New London Bay.

But the man is a serial entrepreneur, if there ever was one. Other sister companies include Anne of Green Gables ChocolatesBOOMburger and Moo Moo BBQ Grilled Cheesery, among other ventures.

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/

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.

 

 

 

 

$33,000 in prize money at oldest cheese competition in Canada

Attention, Canadian cheesemakers!

Entries are open for the 2022 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition presented by Dairy Farmers of Ontario at the 100th anniversary Royal Agricultural Winter Fair with more than $33,000 in prize money provided by Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

It’s the oldest cheese and butter competition in Canada dating back 100 years to 1922 when the Fair was first held at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

Entry deadline is June 1. Judging for the competition takes place June 10 with winners announced soon after.

The competition is open to Canadian cheese made with all milks—cow, goat, sheep, water buffalo and mixed—by producers in all provinces.

Click to read and download the 2022 competition book with rules and regulations in English.

Cliquez pour lire et télécharger le livret du concours 2022 avec le réglementation en français.

Judges for the prestigious competition are selected on the basis of their knowledge, understanding and appreciation of cheese. The Jury is evenly divided between judges strong on technical aspects of cheese and those strong on aesthetics.

Technical Judges: Art Hill, Kelsie Parsons, Barry Reid, Cecilia Smith,  Heather Thelwell.

Aesthetic Judges: André Derrick, Erin Harris, Andrew Moulton, Martin Raymond, Sue Riedl.

Judging Facilitator: Connie Smith. Competition Superintendents: Debbie Levy and Lisa McAlpine.

Presenting Sponsor of the Cheese & Butter Competition: Dairy Farmers of Ontario.

Evaluation of cheese will be based on the following:

  • Aroma
  • Flavours
  • Texture and Body
  • Appearance and Rind Development
    (if rind is appropriate to the cheese)

In the 2021 competition, the Grand Champions were:

Grand Champion in Cow Milk: Miranda, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, Noyan, Quebec, Cheesemaker Fritz Kaiser;

Grand Champion in Goat, Sheep, Water Buffalo and mixed milk: Fuoco, Fromagerie Fuoco, St. Lin Laurentides, Québec, Cheesemaker Jason Fuoco;

Grand Champion Cheddar and Ontario Champion Cheddar: Balderson Medium Cheddar, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario;

Grand Champion Butter: Lactantia Cultured Salted Butter, Lactalis Canada, Chesterville, Ontario.

The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair celebrates 100 years of world class Equine and Agricultural excellence on November 4-13, 2022.

Since its inception in November 1922, The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair has become the world’s largest combined 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.

 

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.
Learn more here:
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.

Canadian cheese calendars for Advent

After years of only British cheese calendars available for the holidays, Canadians finally have an Advent calendar featuring Québec cheese.

Congratulations to Fromages CDA, the award-winning marketing agency led by Daniel Allard, for developing a tasting calendar for sale in Sobeys, IGA and Safeway stores—while supplies last.

Here’s how the 24-day cheese calendar works:
—Ideally, you’ll start tasting on December 1 and conclude on Christmas Eve.
—When you lift the perforated flap for each day, revealing a cheese sample, the name of the fromagerie and the cheese will be visible. In the photo, we have opened December 1 and 2, revealing Fromagerie le Fromage au Village/Coeur du village, and Fromagerie P’tit Plaisir/Lys de St-Gérard.
—With a small knife, pierce the plastic to uncover the cheese.
—Enjoy the treat and repeat the process again the next day.
In all, there are eight different cheeses in the package that retails for $39.95, a reasonable price for 650 grams of excellent artisan cheese. Each of the 24 pieces is 27 grams, a perfect amount for sampling.
The eight cheeses are:
Coeur du village, a cheddar made by Fromagerie le Fromage au Village in the Abitibi-Témiscamingue region of Québec;
Lys de St-Gérard, semi-firm cheese, Fromagerie P’tit Plaisir, Eastern Townships;
Fontina, firm cheese, Fromagerie Saint-Benoit-du-Lac, Eastern Townships;
Meule des champs, firm cheese, Fromagerie Rang 9, Centre-du-Québec;
Noyan, semi-firm cheese, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, Montérégie;
L’Ancêtre, organic cheddar, Fromagerie L’Ancêtre, Centre-du-Québec;
Fredondaine, firm cheese, Fromagerie La Vache à Maillotte, Abitibi-Témiscamingue;
Le Désirable, cheddar flavoured with maple syrup, La Fromagerie du Terroir de Bellechasse, Chaudiere-Appalaches.
All of the above cheeses are made with cow’s milk. They are marketed under the Amour et Tradition banner by Fromages CDA and distributed across Canada.
If the Québec artisan cheese calendar has sold out where you shop, take the above list to your neighbourhood cheese shop and purchase the cheeses individually or have them ordered in for you.
Failing that, Progressive Dairy Canada has created Advent cheese calendars that you can download and print and then use as a guide for shopping and sampling:
Either way, enjoy plenty of excellent Canadian cheese as the holidays approach.
—Georgs Kolesnikovs
Georgs Kolesnikovs, Cheese-Head-in-Chief at CheeseLover.ca, has never met a cheese he didn’t like . . . well, hardly ever. Follow him on YouTube at Strictly Cheese.

Fritz Kaiser celebrates 40 years of cheesemaking with gold medals at Worlds

Fritz Kaiser: Celebrating 40 years of cheesemaking with Swiss know-how and Québec terroir.

Three goat milk cheeses made by Fritz Kaiser, one of the earliest pioneers of artisan cheese in Québec and, indeed, Canada, won gold medals at the recent World Cheese Awards held in Spain that attracted more than 4,000 entries from 45 countries.

The honours come on the heels of the 40th anniversary of the founding of Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser in 1981, in Noyan, Québec, south of Montréal, three kilometres from the U.S. border.

Fritz Kaiser was born in Zurich, Switzerland, into a farming family but early on he developed a passion for cheesemaking and began to learn his craft. In 1978, Fritz emigrated to Canada, settling, as many Swiss did, in French-speaking Québec south of Montréal. His brother, Matthias, also emigrated and started Ferme Imperiale, a dairy farm, in Noyan.

Three years later, in August, 1981, at age 23, Fritz struck out on his own with Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser. This was a time when every cheesemaker in Canada seemed to be making cheddar exclusively. Two monasteries, Trappist Abbeye Notre Dame du Lac near Oka and Benedictine Abbaye Saint Benoît du Lac in the Eastern Townships of Québec, were the rare exceptions.

Using the craft he learned in his native Switzerland, Fritz started cheesemaking with Raclette, for which he’d become most widely known, and Noyan, a lovely washed rind that has been a best-seller for four decades.

Today, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser produces 30 different cheeses, using pasteurised cow and goat milk, many of which have won seemingly countless awards over the years. In Raclette alone, there are eight different cheeses made.

“Cheese is a living product, made from 100% pure milk,” says Fritz. “No derivatives, no modified milk ingredients. Our production is purely artisanal, completely opposed to factory production that places more importance on volume.”

His wife, Christin, and sons, Adrian and Noah, are involved in the cheese business. His brother, Matthias, and nephews continue to run the nearby dairy farm.

In 2020, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser processed 5 1/2 million litres of milk and fabricated about 660 tonnes (660,000 kilos) of cheese. The fromagerie has about 25 employees and one busy cheese-washing robot made in Switzerland, added in 2019.

In February this year, two new cheese coolers were completed, each with a capacity of 64,000 wheels, in investment to permit future growth.

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser in Noyan, Québec, south of Montréal, three kilometres from the U.S. border.

The cow’s milk used by the fromagerie comes from six area farms. The goat’s milk comes from two nearby farms, one owned by Franz Fuchs, the other by Hans Hodel. The El Toro cheese is made with water-buffalo milk which comes from Ferme Bufala Maciocia an hour away from the fromagerie.

Fritz, hearty and hale at age 63, still indulges in his other passion, flying, by piloting his own Cessna 172.

Daniel Allard, president of Fromages CDA, the powerhouse marketing agency that handles distribution of many leading Canadian cheeses, has known Fritz for more than 30 years, and represented his cheese since 2000.

“Fritz is very much hands-on with all aspects of cheese production at the fromagerie,“ says Allard. “The high standards of Swiss cheesemaking are at the heart of all he does. He started out small, encountered pitfalls, but persevered to become a dominant force in cheesemaking in Quebec and Canada.”

Allard chuckles as he recalls the challenge Fritz had making bloomy rind cheese; nevertheless, he persevered with Le Sœur Angèle which went on to become hugely popular and raise $110,000 for Sister Angèle Foundation.

Here are the three gold medalists in the World Cheese Awards:

SUPER GOLD MEDAL: La Mascotte

Semi-firm 100% goat’s milk cheese, Mascotte tastes of roasted almonds with a goaty finish. Its rind releases a most appealing slightly woody aroma. Excellent cheese for raclette. First produced in 2011.

Named after the mascot of Fort Lennox National Historic Site of Canada on Île aux Noix in the Richelieu River close to Lake Champlain.

GOLD MEDAL: Sainte Nitouche

With notes of roasted almonds and caramel, and a woody aroma, Sainte Nitouche is a semi-soft, washed-rind goat’s milk cheese that melts well and can be used for raclette dishes. It pairs well with homemade tapenade or fresh- or dried-tomato bruschetta. First brought to market eight years ago.

Named after a fictional saint said to be the epitome of innocence and modesty.

GOLD MEDAL: Tomme du Haut-Richelieu

Tomme du Haut-Richelieu is the goat’s milk version of Fritz Kaiser’s Noyan cheese. Made with 100% goat’s milk, it has a washed rind and supple interior, with a hay-like aroma and nutty, fresh milk flavour. In production for 30 years.

Named after Le Haut-Richelieu, a regional municipality in the Montérégie region in southwestern Québec, home to Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser.

In addition to the three goat’s milk cheeses that garnered gold, three other Fritz Kaiser cheeses brought home medals:

SILVER MEDAL: Vacherin Fri-Charco

Semi-soft washed rind cow’s milk cheese with a mild lactic, fruity aroma and a hazelnut and salted butter flavour.

BRONZE MEDAL: La Tomme de Monsieur Séguin

Half cow’s milk, half goat’s milk, Tomme de Monsieur Séguin is a nice blend of Noyan and Tomme du Haut Richelieu. Its smooth rind, and supple, flexible interior, tempt the palate with a fine blend of flavours and a nice goaty finish.

BRONZE MEDAL: Miranda

A firm cheese with a washed, rose-and-copper coloured rind. This impressive cow’s milk cheese emits a scent of nuts and damp straw, and its salty taste releases hints of spicy walnuts and almonds.

Miranda was named Grand Champion at the 2021 Cheese & Butter Competition at Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

—Georgs Kolesnikovs

Georgs Kolesnikovs, Cheese-Head-in-Chief at CheeseLover.ca, has never met a cheese he didn’t like . . . well, hardly ever. Follow him on YouTube at Strictly Cheese.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Home delivery: Safe and convenient way to shop for cheese in Covid Times

Winner’s Basket from award-winning Fromagerie du Presbytère.

Canadian cheese producers, distributors and retailers who offer home delivery are standing by online for your order.

Click here to see who will deliver what.

The selection is wide-ranging and mouth-watering.

Take, for example, the award-winning cheeses that Fromagerie du Presbytère in Québec has assembled in a Winner’s Basket for $29.95: Louis d’Or, Religieuse, Laliberté and Bleu d’Élizabeth, plus a cranberry-guinea fowl treat from Faisanderie St-Albert. Order three baskets to give as gifts and one for yourself and the fromagerie will cover the cost of shipping.

Click here to reach the fromagerie’s online boutique.

From Prince Edward Island, the Over the Moon Box from Cows Creamery contains three pieces of Cheddar, Avonlea Clothbound, Extra Old and Appletree Smoked, two pieces of butter, Sea Salted and Cultured, Cheddar Pop, freshly baked COWS Butter Biscuits, Receiver Butter Crackers, Prince Edward Island Honey, Avonlea Preserves, COW CHIPS, and COWS Caramel Corn. $125 with shipping included.

Stonetown Artisan Cheese in Ontario offers a Charcuterie Box for $58 that contains four 170-gram wedges of cheese, including Grand Trunk and Wildwood, German salami and crackers. Free shipping with every purchase of $100 or more.

If you’re able and willing to shop in person, visit our directory of cheese shops across Canada by clicking here.

Finally, a Canadian cheese calendar for Advent!

It’s about time!

So good to see Progressive Dairy Canada magazine produce an Advent calendar featuring Canadian cheese.

Really good to see excellent representation of cheesemakers from Vancouver Island to Newfoundland although we will quibble that many outstanding Québec cheeses are missing. Maybe next year we’ll have to develop an Advent calendar of our own.

But, for now, kudos to Progressive Dairy Canada!

Maple Dale Extra Old Cheddar double champion at The Royal

Here’s how to access all 2020 cheese and butter competition results at The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience, a new, free platform loaded with features and videos:

  1. Visit www.royalfair.org/virtual
  2. Register on your first visit
  3. Select the ‘Exhibit Hall’ tab
  4. Go to ‘Champions Showcase’ Booth
    • Click the left picture tab for complete listing of results.
    • Winner profiles are found under the document tab on that same page.
    • Competition day videos are listed under videos.

A delicious extra old cheddar made by Maple Dale Cheese in Plainfield, Ontario, was declared a champion twice over in the 2020 Canadian Cheese & Butter Competition at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair.

Maple Dale’s Naturally Aged Extra Old Cheddar was named Grand Champion Cheddar. It also scored Ontario Champion Cheddar honours in the oldest cheese competition in Canada that dates back 98 years to 1922 when the Fair was first held at Exhibition Place in Toronto.

Grand Champion Cheddar and Ontario Champion Cheddar

In this Covid-19 era, The Royal hosted the only cheese judging and competition in Canada and one of the few such contests in the world this year.

Judging took place on September 24 with six expert judges sampling and evaluating the 164 cheese and butter entries submitted by producers across Canada. The results were announced this morning at The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience on a special new digital platform at http://www.royalfair.org/virtual that replaces the in-person fair this year.

Click here for all results in the Cheddar Section of the competition.

Grand Champion Variety Cheese—Cow Milk

A nicely balanced Cumin Aged Gouda made by Mountainoak Cheese in New Hamburg, Ontario, was named Grand Champion Variety Cheese-Cow Milk.

Click here for all results in the Variety Cheese—Cow Milk Section of the competition.

Grand Champion Variety Cheese—Goat, Sheep. Water Buffalo & Mixed Milk

A wonderful Artisan Chevre made by Cross Wind Farm in Keene, Ontario, was named Grand Champion in the Variety Cheese—Goat, Sheep, Water Buffalo & Mixed Milk Section of the competition.

Click here for all results in the Variety Cheese—Goat, Sheep, Water Buffalo & Mixed Milk Section of the competition.

Grand Champion Butter

Butter has been an integral part of the Cheese & Butter Competition at The Royal since the first fair 98 years ago. Since the 2019 competition, ghee has been included.

Organic Unsalted Butter made by Gay Lea Foods Co-operative was named Grand Champion in the Butter and Ghee Section of the competition.

Click here for all results in the Butter and Ghee Section of the competition.

READ MORE:

Be sure to visit The Royal Agricultural Virtual Experience on a special new digital platform at http://www.royalfair.org/virtual that replaces the in-person fair this year. The site is loaded with features and videos.

—Georgs Kolesnikovs

Georgs Kolesnikovs, Cheese-Head-in-Chief at CheeseLover.ca, Canada’s most popular blog about fromage, served as co-host with Katie Brown of the virtual competition in the video above.

Avonlea: Rich and robust with a lovely hint of Spud Island

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar was named Canadian Cheese of the Year at the 2016 Canadian Cheese Awards.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar’s recipe comes from the Orkney Islands, north of mainland Scotland, with the cheese made in the style of traditional English cheddars by Cows Creamery of Prince Edward Island.

Scott Linkletter, who started Cows Inc. in 1983 by famously making ice cream, was visiting the Orkneys with his wife 15 years ago when they were so taken by the local cheese that he cajoled a Scottish cheesemaker into sharing the recipe. The recipe became the foundation for the Cows signature cheese, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, introduced in 2006. Ten years later, Avonlea was named Cheese of the Year at the Canadian Cheese Awards.

While developing the recipe for the clothbound cheddar, Linkletter and head cheesemaker Armand Bernard created a second cheese, PEI Cheddar. Other cheddars, such as Appletree Smoked, followed.

How Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar is made by Cows Creamery in Prince Edward Island under the guidance of head cheesemaker Armand Bernard.

Milk of Holstein cows from small local farms in the rolling hills of Prince Edward Island is gently heated—but not pasteurized—to allow beneficial microbes to thrive and give depth of character and flavour. The salt air and iron-rich soil of Prince Edward Island combine to add flavour and quality to the cheddar.

Cows makes Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar in 10 kilograms wheels, and ages it for 12 to 16 months at 10–12 degrees Celsius and 90% humidity.

The multi-award-winning cheese gets the “clothbound” name from traditional cheddar-making technique of wrapping it in cheese cloth, a method that originated in Somerset, England. The town of Cheddar, where cheddar cheese gets its name from is in Somerset.

The name Avonlea comes from link between Prince Edward Island and Anne of Green Gables. As Scott Linkletter explained to Sue Riedl of The Globe and Mail: “We thought that was a great name because of the connection with Anne of Green Gables. At the time of Anne, this is the way cheese would have been made.”

COWS Ice Cream has been a family tradition on Prince Edward Island since 1983. From a small kiosk on the famous Cavendish Boardwalk, the COWS brand now has seven locations across PEI, two in Nova Scotia, two in British Columbia and one each in Alberta, Ontario and Beijing, China. The COWS brand has expanded over the years with cheese and butter lines, as well as the popular COWS-themed merchandise.

Cheesemaker Armand Bernard pulls a sample from a wheel of Avonlea to monitor the aging process.

The Linkletter family has also invested in Raspberry Point Oysters with oysters being shipped across Canada, USA, Japan and Denmark. The oyster line started as a bit of a hobby for Scott Linkletter, who used to harvest oysters with his father near his summer home on New London Bay.

But the man is a serial entrepreneur, if there ever was one, as he also has launched Anne of Green Gables Chocolates, BOOMburger and Moo Moo BBQ Grilled Cheesery, among other ventures.

How does Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar taste? Among Canadian cheddars, quite unique, truly exceptional.

The flavours and aroma are rich and robust, fruity and nutty, with a hint of baked potatoes, as befits a cheese made on Canada’s spud island, Prince Edward Island. The texture is firm, slightly crumbly as the cheese ages beyond 12 months.

It’s an outstanding Canadian cheese, perfect for cheese boards and snacking. Stick a wedge in your glove compartment for your next road trip.

Check with your favourite cheese shop for availability or order online for convenient and safe home delivery:

You can order boxed selections of cheese and butter direct from Cows Creamery in Charlottetown by clicking here.

You can also order Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar via Amazon.ca.

Enjoy!

—Georgs

Georgs Kolesnikovs, Cheese-Head-in-Chief at CheeseLover.ca, has never met a cheese he didn’t like . . . well, hardly ever.

1 2 3 6