Video: Take a tour of Jensen Cheese in Simcoe, Ontario

Video Wednesday: Scott Jensen, owner of Jensen Cheese in Simcoe, Ontario, gives a tour of the Simcoe plant, demonstrating storage and aging, cutting and packaging of award-winning artisan cheese.

How many Cheese Grand Prix finalists have you tasted?

canadian-cheese-grand-prix_halfpagewidthThe 81 finalists in the 2015 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix have been announced. The prestigious biennial competition sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada saw 268 cheeses submitted in 27 categories.

The winners will be announced April 22 at a Gala of Champions in Toronto.

Quebec, home to the majority of Canada’s cheese producers, dominates the list of 81 finalists with 31 cheeses. Naturally, some of the larger producers have the most finalists: Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, 7 finalists, Sylvan Star Cheese, 6, and Natural Pastures Cheese Company and Fromagerie du Presbytère, 5.

The competition, open to cheese made exclusively with Canadian cow’s milk, first started in 1998 to promote achievement and innovation in cheesemaking and to spotlight the quality of Canadian milk.

Here are the 2015 finalists:category 1 fresh ch#196C2DE

Fresh Cheese

category 2 fresh pa#196C2EAFresh Pasta Filata

category 3 cheese w#196C2E9Fresh Cheese with grilling properties

category 4 soft che#196C307Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

category 5 soft che#196C2F8Cream-enriched Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

category 6 semi-sof#196C2EFSemi-soft Cheese

category 7 soft wit#196C2F0Washed- or Mixed-Rind Soft Cheese

category 8 semi-sof#196C305Washed- or Mixed-Rind Semi-soft Cheese

category 9 firm che#196C2F2Washed- or Mixed-Rind Firm Cheese

category 10 firm in#196C2DBFirm Cheese (except Cheddar and Gouda)

category 11 swiss 1#196C2ECSwiss-type Cheese

category 12 mozzare#196C2FFMozzarella (Ball, Brick or Cylinder) or Pasta Filata

category 13 ripened#196C2FBBrine-ripened Cheese

category 14 gouda 1#196C302Gouda (aged 1 to 6 months)

category 16 gouda 9#196C308Aged Gouda

category 17 extra g#196C2F9Extra Aged Gouda

category 18 blue ch#196C2E7Blue Cheese

category 19 flavour#196C2E4Flavoured Cheese with added non-particulate flavourings (except smoked cheese)

category 20 smoked #196C313Smoked Cheese

category 21 flavour#196C2F5Flavoured Cheese with added particulate solids and flavourings

category 20 smoked #196C313Mild Cheddar (aged 3 months)

category 23 medium #196C2F6Medium Cheddar (aged 4 to 9 months)

category 24 cheddar#196C2F3Old Cheddar (aged from 9 months to a year)

category 25 cheddar#196C2FCAged Cheddar (1 to 3 years)

category 26 cheddar#196C304Aged Cheddar (more than 3 years)

category 27 fromage#196C2DDFarmhouse Cheese

category 28 fromage#196C301Organic Cheese

Typically, many of the finalists and winners are available for sampling and purchase at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, this year taking place June 6-7 at Picton Fairgrounds in the heart of Ontario’s Prince Edward County, just south of Belleville in Bay of Quinte Region, near spectacular Sandbanks Provincial Park.

 

Start your day at #TGCCF with free cheese curds

Is there anything better than fresh cheese curds?

Is there anything better than fresh cheese curds?

The first 1,000 cheese lovers through the doors at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival will receive a free sampler of fresh cheese curds made by St. Albert Cheese Co-operative earlier in the day.

It’s one of the many ways we’ll be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the biggest cheese show in Canada. It also celebrates remarkable recovery by St. Albert Cheese Co-op from a devastating fire two years ago.

The free cheese curds will be available on Saturday, June 6. We have another giveaway in the works for Sunday, June 7.

FESTIVAL ADMISSION INCLUDES:

•   Sample and purchase more than 150 outstanding Canadian artisan and farmstead cheeses from 30+ Canadian cheesemakers coast to coast.

•   Plus artisan foods, plus fine wines and craft beers, plus a food court. In total, more than 500 different cheeses, foods and beverages on offer.

•   An insulated Festival cooler bag for hauling fromage and other purchases home.

•   Glass for sampling wine and beer for 19+.

•   Admittance on first-come, first-served basis to seminars in the All You Need Is Cheese Annex presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada.

•   Live music by Starpainters duo. Click here for a sampler.

•   All You Need Is Cheese magazine courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

•   A photo op with Yvette, a water buffalo, in the Festival Dairy Farm.

•   Special admission pricing for seniors 60+ and groups.

•   Families are welcome with children 15 and younger admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult.

•   FREE parking.

Click here to order your tickets today!

Visit CheeseFestival.ca for complete information including special events such as. For assistance, email info@cheesefestival.ca telephone 705.632.1503.

Plan to make a weekend of it in Prince Edward County, as one day won’t be enough to sample all 500 cheeses, foods and beverages on offer—and see all that the County has to offer: Three dozen wineries, two cheese plants plus spectacular Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Find accommodations to suit your tastes and budget by clicking here. For assistance, telephone Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism & Commerce at 1.800.640.4717.

Spread the cheese love. Use the hashtag #TGCCF when tweeting about the biggest cheese show in Canada.

Video: Cheesemaking at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont

It’s Video Wednesday and time for a short PBS video on cheesemaking at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont. Enjoy!

<p><a href=”http://vimeo.com/113559146″>Food Forward, episode 5: &quot;Modern Milk&quot;</a> from <a href=”http://vimeo.com/amicapen”>ami capen</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

Calling all home cheesemakers!

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There is no end to the variety of cheeses made at home by amateurs.

The cheese lovers who organize The Great Canadian Cheese Festival every June are planning to host Canadian Amateur Cheesemaking Awards, the first-ever judging and competition for home cheesemakers.

The mission is to recognize and honour the best in amateur cheesemaking and to provide encouragement and feedback to home cheesemakers.

It’s possible the competition will be expanded to include home cheesemakers in the U.S.

Would you be interested in entering your cheese for judging? You won’t personally have be present to participate as you can safely ship cheese in a cooled box.

Please indicate your interest by emailing Ian Treuer at competition@cheesefestival.ca. Ian is acting as Competition Co-ordinator. He blogs about his adventures as a home cheesemaker at Much To Do About Cheese.

Jackie Armet, the Festival’s Cheese Co-ordinator, who also serves as Cheese Co-ordinator for Canadian Cheese Awards/Le Concours des fromages fins canadiens, will oversee the new competition.

Awards will be presented for best in each cheese category. Judging reports will be issued for each cheese entered. Subject to confirmation when rules are issued, the categories and awards will be as follows:

  • Fresh Cheese
  • Bloomy Rind Cheese
  • Washed Rind Cheese
  • Blue Cheese
  • Firm Cheese
  • Best of Canada
  • Best of U.S.
  • Best of Show.

The first-ever amateur cheesemaking competition takes place this June 6-7 in conjunction with the fifth anniversary Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Ontario, two hours east of Toronto, three hours north of Syracuse, New York, four hours from Montréal.

If you’re interested in entering your cheese made at home, let us hear from you!

Photos by Ian Treuer/Much To Do About Cheese.

2014 in review at CheeseLover.ca

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for CheeseLover.ca.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 56,000 times in 2014. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 21 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

Best Bites: Twelve outstanding cheeses of 2014

We lower the curtain on 2014 with Vanessa Simmons, respected cheese sommelier at Savvy Company in Ottawa, recalling the 12 Canadian cheeses that made the year memorable for her palate. Check out her tasting notes and make up your shopping list for the next visit to a cheese shop.

Glengarry-Celtic-Blue

  • Celtic Blue Reserve: Glengarry Fine Cheese
  • Even more robust, buttery than the Celtic Blue we know and love from Glengarry Fine Cheese.

wedge-clothcheddarXXlf1

  • Taliah: Taliah
  • New-on-the-scene earthy ewe’s milk clothbound cheddar from Québec.

lindsay-cheddar-1

  • Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar: Mariposa Dairy
  • Continues to wow year after year. Tangy, fruity, yet clean.

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  • Bonnechere 2 year: Back Forty Artisan Cheese
  • One-of-a-kind and very rare to find aged. Packs a punch of flavour with awesome bite on the finish.

magie

  • Magie De Madawaska: Fromagerie le Détour
  • Runny, lucious, creamy, buttery, nutty and ooey-gooey good when perfectly à point (fully ripened).

Canadian Cheese Awards

  •  Bella Casara Mascarpone: Quality Cheese
  • Rich, and oh so sinful, with flavors of butter, cream and a hint of sweet dulce de leche (to quote myself!). Eat right from the spoon.

burrata

  • Quality Cheese Hand-Pulled Burrata: Quality Cheese
  • Heaven. Pure indulgence. Need I say more?

SS-6-247x300

  •  Sylvan Star Natural Smoked Gouda: Sylvan Star Cheese Farm
  • Surprising! Hints of bacon, maple and smoke, with an overlay of butter and nut rounding out its smooth and supple texture.

ma-maniere

madelaine

plaisirs-gourmets-pont-blanc

  • Pont Blanc: Au Grés des Champs
  • Texture of soft ice cream sandwich with flavours and aromas of fresh sweet milk and grass that lingers and lingers.

laliberte

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