Quality Cheese Ricotta wins Canadian Cheese Grand Prix

Ricotta---Grand-Champion_sm

What shockeroo!

For the first time in the eight renditions of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, a fresh cheese was named Grand Champion, the first time an Ontario cheese was named the best cheese in Canada.

The history-making cheese is Ricotta made by Quality Cheese of Vaughan, Ontario.

A jury of top Canadian food industry experts selected it from 19 impressive category winners in the Grand Prix.

Sponsored and hosted every two years by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix celebrates the high quality, versatility and great taste of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian cow’s milk. The winners were announced tonight during a gala at the Hyatt Regency in Montreal.

“The Ricotta’s refined and balanced taste really stood out during the competition “, says Chef Danny St. Pierre, Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury member. “This confirms that a fresh cheese can have as much depth as an aged cheese”.

Quality Cheese’s Ricotta is lauded for its creamy texture and milky aroma. Quality Cheese manufactures, distributes and retails Italian speciality cheeses and boasts a team representing four generations of cheesemaking.

Their products are so popular that fans flock to their Vaughan, Ontario, location to buy the cheese fresh.

The Grand Champion and 19 category winners were selected from a record 225 cheese entries submitted by cheesemakers from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia. The submissions were then narrowed down to 58 finalists by the jury in February.

“We are seeing an impressive variety of Canadian cheeses being developed to satisfy various culinary tastes and trends”, says Mr. St. Pierre. “It’s fascinating to see all the things we can do with these cheeses, be it topping a cracker with an aged Cheddar or using a fresh cheese to make a wild blueberry cheesecake. So take out your cooking aprons and discover the winners of the 8th Canadian Cheese Grand Prix!”

Indeed, Canada’s vibrant and unique cheesemaking craft has evolved to the point that new types of cheese are continually being added to the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. This year, two new categories were introduced: “Gouda’’ and “Fresh Cheese with Grilling Properties.”

Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Jury members tasted, touched and smelled each cheese, evaluating them for appearance, flavour, colour, texture and body, and salt content before determining the following winners.

The first time many of the winners will be available for tasting and purchase by the public in one place will be at the third annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival on June 1-2 in Picton in Ontario’s Prince Edward County.

Here are the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix category winners. Click on any image for a larger view.

Grizzly-Gouda_smFARMHOUSE CHEESE

Bleu-d'Elizabeth_smORGANIC CHEESE

Ricotta_smFRESH CHEESE

Queso-Fresco-Cheese_smFRESH CHEESE WITH GRILLING PROPERTIES

Le-Noble_smSOFT CHEESE WITH BLOOMY RIND

Tre-Stelle-Feta_smSEMI-SOFT CHEESE

Le-Mamirolle_smWASHED OR MIXED RIND CHEESE (SOFT, SEMI-SOFT AND FIRM)

Gunn's-Hill-Five-Brothers_smFIRM CHEESE

Grizzly-Gouda_smGOUDA

Bleu-d'Elizabeth_smSWISS-TYPE CHEESE

Tre-Stelle-Mozzarella-Cheese_smMOZZARELLA (BALL, BRICK OR CYLINDER)

  • Tre Stelle Mozzarella Cheese ~ Arla Foods, Ontario

Bleu-d'Elizabeth_smBLUE CHEESE (VARIOUS RINDS, WITH OR WITHOUT VEINING)

Applewood-Smoked-Cheddar_smFLAVOURED CHEESE WITH ADDED NON-PARTICULATE FLAVOURINGS

Raclette-de-Comton-au-Poivre_smFLAVOURED CHEESE WITH ADDED PARTICULATE SOLIDS AND FLAVOURINGS

L'Ancetre-Organic-Mild-Chedda_smrMILD CHEDDAR (AGED 3 MONTHS)

Maple-Dale-Medium-Cheddar_smMEDIUM CHEDDAR (AGED 4 TO 9 MONTHS)*

Fromagerie-Perron-1-Year-Aged-Cheddar-sm OLD CHEDDAR (AGED FROM 9 MONTHS TO A YEAR)

Avonlea-Clothbound-Cheddar_smAGED CHEDDAR (MORE THAN 1 YEAR UP TO 3 YEARS)

  • Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar ~ Cows Creamery, Prince Edward Island
 Black-River-5-Year-Aged-Cheddar_smAGED CHEDDAR (MORE THAN 3 YEARS)

Photos courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

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