Canadians produce 30 of the best cheeses in the Americas

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Quality Cheese of Vaughan, Ontario, which won the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix with its cow’s milk Ricotta, won the category of fresh unripened cheese made from sheep or mixed milk with its Bella Casara Buffalo Ricotta.

Canadian cheesemakers won 30 ribbons in the 2013 American Cheese Society Judging & Competition in Madison, Wisconsin, in early August, competing against 1,794 cheeses submitted by 257 producers in the Americas—the largest competition in the history of the ACS.

Twenty-three of the 30 ribbons were won by 10 Québec cheesemakers, four being first-place ribbons, two for Agropur Fine Cheese and one each for Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, represented by Fromages CDA, and La Moutonnière.

Two Ontario producers, Mariposa Dairy, represented by Finica Food Specialties, and Quality Cheese, won first-place ribbons as well.

Best of Show was won by Cellars at Jasper Hill Farm in Vermont with the Winnimere, an extraordinary take on the French mountain classic Vachering Mont d’Or. Made with raw milk from the farm’s Ayrshire cows, Winnimere is wrapped in cambium cut from the spruce trees on the farm and washed in a beer from a neighbouring brewery. It’s available only January through June.

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Here are the Canadian winners:

OPEN CATEGORY – FRESH UNRIPENED CHEESES – MADE FROM SHEEP’S MILK OR MIXED MILKS

1st    Quality Cheese, Ontario
Buffalo Ricotta Bella Casara

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Chèvre des Neiges plain

BRIE – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Brie Normandie

CAMEMBERT – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

1st    Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Camembert l’Extra

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Camembert Vaudreuil

TRIPLE CRÈME – SOFT RIPENED/CREAM ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Chevalier Triple Creme

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Saint-Honoré

OPEN CATEGORY – SOFT-RIPENED CHEESES – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Rondoux Double Crème

OPEN CATEGORY – SOFT-RIPENED CHEESES – MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK

3rd    Upper Canada Cheese, Ontario
Nanny Noire

EMMENTAL-STYLE WITH EYE FORMATION (SWISS, BABY SWISS, BLOCKS, WHEELS) – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

1st    Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Oka l’Artisan

3rd    Fromagerie Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac (Fromages CDA), Québec
Le Frère Jacques

OPEN CATEGORY – AMERICAN MADE/INTERNATIONAL STYLE – MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK

3rd    Fromagerie Bergeron, Québec
Patte Blanche

FRESH MOZZARELLA – 8 OZ. OR MORE (BALLS OR SHAPES) – ALL MILKS

2nd   Quality Cheese, Ontario
Bella Casara Fior de Latte

3rd    Quality Cheese, Ontario
Fresh Mozzarella Zerto

FETA – MADE FROM SHEEP’S MILK OR MIXED MILKS

 2nd   La Moutonniere, Québec
Feta

FAT FREE AND LOW FAT CHEESES

2nd   Fromagerie Le Détour, Québec
La Dame du Lac

LIGHT/LITE AND REDUCED FAT CHEESES

1st    Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser (Fromages CDA), Québec 
L’Empereur Léger 

FRESH UNRIPENED CHEESE WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Chèvre des Neiges Fig and Orange

INTERNATIONAL-STYLE WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Fromagerie Bergeron, Québec
Le Coureur des bois

HAVARTI WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Agropur Fine Cheese, Québec
Havarti Jalapeno

REDUCED FAT CHEESE WITH FLAVOR ADDED – ALL MILKS

2nd   Woolwich Dairy, Ontario
Woolwich Dairy Fresh Chèvre – Big Kick Herb & Garlic

SMOKED CHEDDARS – ALL MILKS

2nd   COWS CREAMERY, Prince Edward Island
Applewood Smoked Cheddar

FRESH RINDLESS GOAT’S MILK CHEESE AGED 0 TO 30 DAYS (BLACK ASH COATING PERMITTED)

3rd    Mariposa Dairy (Finica Food Specialties), Ontario
Celebrity International Goat Cheese Original

SHEEP’S MILK CHEESE AGED OVER 60 DAYS

1st    Mariposa Dairy (Finica Food Specialties), Ontario
Tania

3rd    Fromagerie Nouvelle France, Québec
Zacharie Cloutier

YOGURTS – PLAIN WITH NO ADDITIONAL INGREDIENTS –MADE FROM COW’S MILK

3rd    Beurrerie du Patrimoine, Québec
Plain Yogourt

BUTTER WITH OR WITHOUT CULTURES – MADE FROM GOAT’S, SHEEP’S OR MIXED MILKS

1st    La Moutonniere, Québec
Ewes Butter

OPEN CATEGORY – WASHED RIND CHEESES – MADE FROM COW’S MILK

2nd   La Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage (Saputo), Québec
Vacherin

3rd    La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo), Québec
Le Reflet de Portneuf

OPEN CATEGORY – WASHED RIND CHEESES – MADE FROM GOAT’S MILK

2nd   Fromagerie Le Détour, Québec
Sentinelle

Congratulations to all Canadian winners! They are shown below in alphabetical order with a summary of their winnings which accounted for 30 ribbons.

Agropur Fine Cheese
First-place  – 2
Second-place  – 5

Beurrerie du Patrimoine
Third-place  – 1

Cows Creamery
Second-place  – 1

Mariposa Dairty (Finica Food Specialties)
First-place  – 1
Third-place  – 1

Fromagerie Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac (Fromages CDA)

Third-place  – 1

Fromagerie Bergeron
Second-place  – 1
Third-place  – 1

Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser (Fromages CDA)
First-place  – 1

Fromagerie Le Détour
Second-place  – 2

Fromagerie Nouvelle France
Third-place  – 1

La Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage (Saputo)
Second-place  – 1

La Maison Alexis de Portneuf (Saputo)
Third-place  – 4

La Moutonniere
First-place  – 1
Second-place  – 1

Quality Cheese
First-place  – 1
Second-place  – 1
Third-place  – 1

Upper Canada Cheese
Third-place  – 1

Woolwich Dairy
Second-place  – 1

The 2014 American Cheese Society Judging & Competition will be held in Sacramento, California.

Crazy promotion for cheese returns to Whistler

It’s crazy way to promote cheese but contestants running, tumbling and falling down Blackcomb Mountain has proven effective—and a great deal of fun—for Dairy Farmers of Canada as it demonstrated again at the sixth annual Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival in Whistler, B.C., last Saturday, August 17, 2013.

When asked how an apparently staid organization like Dairy Farmers of Canada can sponsor such chaos, Wally Smith, DFC president, says, “Well, maybe we’re not as staid and conservative as you think.”

The video above tells all. Click here for our photo album as well as a link to more images at 100% Canadian Milk.

B.C. Cheese Tour in photos

It was an honour and delight to spend time with cheesemaker Debra Amrein-Boyes (above) and her daughter, Amanda Vanderlinde, the next generation in cheesemaking at The Farm House Natural Cheeses.

It was a delight to spend time with cheesemaker Debra Amrein-Boyes (above) and her daughter, Amanda Vanderlinde, the next generation in cheesemaking at The Farm House Natural Cheeses in Aggasiz, B.C.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Finale

Crazy promotion for Canadian cheese returns to Whistler

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 21

Hanging out with Chef Chris Whittaker of forage restaurant at The Listel in Vancouver.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 20

From Milner Valley Cheese to UBC Farm to a final fine meal at forage in Vancouver’s Listel Hotel.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 19

A day without tasting cheese while attending to cheese-festival business in Chilliwack.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 18

Visiting The Farm House Natural Cheeses in Agassiz.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 17

Delicious sausage-and-cheddar roll starts the final segment of the tour, back toward Vancouver from Thompson Okanagan Tourism Region.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 16

Only afterward did we realize this was a day without cheese, but the Bouillabaisse and Cassoulet were more than adequate substitutes.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 15

At Gort’s Gouda Cheese Farm, we buy still more cheese. At Shuswap Chefs, we dine as if in heaven.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 14

From goat walks to Village Cheese in Armstrong to industrial parmesan, the tour continues.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 13

We start and end each day with cheese—and the cooler is full of cheese, too!

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 12

On the Naramata Bench overlooking sparkling Okanagan Lake, they make cheese and wine under one roof.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 11

Following Anita Stewart and Chef Mark Filatow to Waterfront Wines.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 10

Eating our way from Apex Mountain to Kelowna—and loving it!

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 9

Total lack of hospitality at one Okanagan winery leads to a memorable meal at Poplar Grove Winery.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 8

From Chilliwack to Apex Mountain above Penticton.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 7

Really fine dining at Bravo Restaurant & Lounge in Chilliwack.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 6

Cheesing it up at Prestons in the Coast Chilliwack Hotel with Allison Colthorp of Tourism Chilliwack and the hotel’s Dominique Roy.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 5

Fabulous lunch at Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 4

We play tourist and pick up our cheesemobile, a 2013 Buick Verano.

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 3

What a street food day in Vancouver!

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 2

Lunch stop with view, outstanding dinner at forage in Vancouver

B.C. Cheese Tour – Day 1

Quebec cheese en route, Pacific halibut on arrival, the adventure begins.

Searching for The Great Canadian Cheese Festival WEST

While we’re on our B.C. Cheese Tour, we’re on the look-out for a venue for the western version of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival that we’d love to produce in the fall of 2015. Here is the short list of five possible locations, three in Vancouver and two less than one hour from Vancouver. Click on any image for a larger view.

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UBC Botanical Garden in Vancouver.

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UBC Farm in Vancouver.

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VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver.

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Golden Ears Cheesecrafters in Maple Ridge in an adjacent field.

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Heritage Park in Chilliwack.

One other possibility would be to close off a street in downtown Vancouver and organize the cheese festival as a street festival.

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival as a street festival in Vancouver?

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival as a street festival in Vancouver?

There is no change in plans to continue the original Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton, Prince Edward County, Bay of Quinte Region. Dates for 2014 are June 7-8.