Tania leads the Mariposa charge in Royal competition

Grand Champion: Tania Lenberg Farms Toscano Sheep Cheese.

Royal Winter Fair Grand Champion: Tania Lenberg Farms Toscano Sheep Cheese. Tania also won a Super Gold in the World Cheese Awards in September.

Mariposa Dairy dominated this year’s Royal Agricultural Winter Fair competition for cheese made with goat, sheep or water buffalo milk. Mariposa’s Tania Lenberg Farms Toscano Sheep Cheese was named Grand Champion. Three other Mariposa cheeses won their classes as did Tania.

Tania, a farmstead Toscano-style sheep’s milk cheese, is a relatively new addition to the array of cheeses produced by Mariposa Dairy in Lindsay, Ontario. Sweet and nutty, attractive on the cheese board, Tania already has many fans.

px-tania-royal-winnerA distinctive characteristic is the colour of the paste that deepens as the cheese ages. Cheesemaker Pieter vanOudenaren says the orange colour comes from the carotene in milk. The inset shows a wedge of Tania in our cheese bin that was made in early 2012, now nicely aged, darker in colour and delicious.

Mariposa markets its goat and sheep cheeses under three labels: Celebrity, Mariposa Dairy and Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve.

Here are the results for cheese made with goat, sheep or water buffalo milk:

Grand Champion Goat, Sheep or Water Buffalo Milk Cheese

Mariposa Dairy – Tania Lenberg Farms Toscano Sheep Cheese

Reserve Champion Goat, Sheep or Water Buffalo Milk Cheese

Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Crooked Wheel

Hard Cheese

1 Gordons Goat Dairy – Farmstead Goatagiono aged 2.5yrs no GMO

Firm Cheese

Mariposa Dairy – Lenberg Farms Bandaged Goat Cheddar
Mariposa Dairy – Lenberg Farms Premium Age
Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Goat Cheddar

Interior Ripened

1 Mariposa Dairy– Celebrity International Mediterranean Gouda
Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Goat’s Milk Feta Cheese
Mariposa Dairy – Extra Sheep Feta

Surfaced Ripened

Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Crooked Wheel
2 Upper Canada Cheese – Nosey Goat
3 Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser – Sainte-Nitouche

Mold Ripened Cheese

1 Alexis de Portneuf – Cendrillon
2 Woolwich Dairy– Woolwich Dairy Triple Creme Goat Brie
3 Quality Cheese – Ashley Goat

Unflavoured Fresh Cheese

Mariposa Dairy – Celebrity International Goat Cheese Original
2 Quality Cheese – Ricotta
Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Original Chevrai

Flavoured Fresh Cheese

1 Cross Wind Farm – Cranberry Orange
2 Cross Wind Farm – Italian Blend
Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Chevrai Cranberry Cinnamon

Flavoured Cheese

1 Blyth Farm Cheese – Blyth’s Jalapeno
2 Blyth Farm Cheese – Blyth’s Garlic
3 Blyth Farm Cheese – Blyth’s Cumin

All New Innovations

1 Alexis de Portneuf – Double Joie
2 Quality Cheese – Buffalo Mozzarella
Woolwich Dairy – Woolwich Dairy Plain ‘N’ Simple Fresh Chevre

Any Cheese Made with Sheep’s Milk

Mariposa Dairy – Tania Lenberg Farms Toscano Sheep Cheese

Empire Cheese in strong showing at Royal Winter Fair

Cheesemaker Mark Erwin with two first-place cheddars. (Photo by Rebecca Crosgrey.

Cheesemaker Mark Erwin with two first-place cheddars. (Photo by Rebecca Crosgrey.

Even though it was up against Canadian cheese giant Agropur, Empire Cheese & Butter Co-op won two firsts, two seconds and two thirds in the cheddar competition at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair—the best showing by an artisan producer. In fact, Empire’s Mild Cheddar was named Reserve Grand Champion in the judging, runner-up to Agropur Grand Cheddar 2 Year.

The Campbellford, Ontario, cheese producer, where Mark Erwin is the cheesemaker, took the following honours:

  • Empire Mild Cheddar – Reserve Grand Champion
  • Empire Mild Cheddar – First in class, Mild Cheddar 2-4 months
  • Empire Extra Mature Cheddar – First in class, Extra Mature Cheddar
  • Empire Medium Cheddar – Second in class, Medium Cheddar 6-8 months
  • Empire Extra Mild Cheddar – Second in class, Extra Mild Cheddar 1-2 months
  • Empire Marble Cheddar – Third in class, Marble Cheddar any age
  • Empire Stilton Shaped Cheddar – Third in class, Stilton Shapped Cheddar.

Maple Dale Cheese of Plainfield, Ontario, won the following:

  • Maple Dale Stilton Shaped Cheddar – Second in class, Stilton Shapped Cheddar
  • Maple Dale 2 year – Third in class, Extra Mature Cheddar.

Ivanhoe Cheese of Madoc, Ontario, won second in the Extra Mature Cheddar class with Ivanhoe Classic Cheddar made May 15, 2011.

Four of the seven cheddar classes were won by Agropur, one of Canada’s biggest co-operatives owned by 3,400 dairy farmers. Among its 15 dairy divisions is Oka, Canada’s iconic cheese brand that dates back to 1893 when Trappists made it.