In 2007, Warwick convinced the Quebec government to declare it as la Capitale des fromages fins du Québec, the Specialty Cheese Capital of Quebec. Le Festival des Fromages de Warwick that starts tomorrow is the 16th version of the huge cheese event that attracts 40,000 to 80,000 visitors, depending upon who is counting.
This evening, it’s still a small rural community in central Quebec some two hours east of Montreal. The most exciting thing happening is the occasional roar of a hot rod on the main drag, which we overlook from Gite du Champayeur.
At La Maison des Fromages, a bistro and cheese boutique in the centre of town, we enjoy a thin-crust Pizza Bénite loaded with pesto, zucchini, tomato, black bean, artichoke and green onion and laced with Bleu Bénédictin and a mozzarella the waitress said came from Saputo.
We look over the exhibitor list: 30 cheesemakers, 14 producers of artisan specialties, eight winemakers, 3 producers of ciders, 1 microbrewer, 1 beekeeper and 2 grocery stores. Bring it on!