Cheesemobile heads to Gaspésie this summer

Our elegant cheesemobile, aka Buick Verano Turbo, at Mt. Revelstoke in B.C.

Our elegant cheesemobile, aka a Buick Verano Turbo, at Mt. Revelstoke in B.C.

Another successful Great Canadian Cheese Festival is behind us and it’s time to start planning another road trip—in search of cheese and other delights.

 Last summer, an elegant Buick Verano Turbo served as the cheesemobile as we hunted for the best in cheese in British Columbia and researched venues for a future Great Canadian Cheese Festival West.

This summer, the general plan is to head into Québec and eventually circumnavigate iconic Gaspésie to satiate our second love—fresh seafood. Of course, a visit to the region’s sole cheesemaker, Fromagerie du Littoral, will be on the itinerary.

Here’s the travel plan that’s taking shape:

  • Initial destination: Ste Elisabeth de Warwick two hours east of Montreal.
  • Festival Des Fromagers Artisans du Québec held this year at Fromagerie du Presybytère. The annual festival travels from cheesemaker to cheesemaker and attracts upwards of 10,000 cheese enthusiasts.
  • Visit Fromagerie Abbaye deSaint-Benoît-du-Lac and Fromage de La Station in Eastern Townships.
  • Fromagerie FX Pichet in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade. home of Le Baluchon, the Canadian Cheese of the Year.
  • Grand tour of Gaspésie, some 1,200 km in all, searching for the freshest seafood and other culinary delights during 10 days along the south shore of the Saint Lawrence River and into the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. Breathtaking panoramas and tasty maritime cuisine await.
  • Fromagerie le Détour in Témiscouata-sur-le-Lac, home of Magie de Madawaska, a wonderful soft cheese worth driving many days for.
  • Overnight visit to Isle aux Grues in the middle of the St. Lawrence River east of Quebec City from whence comes Riopelle, one of Canada’s iconic cheeses, named after Jean-Paul Riopelle, a larger-than-life painter and sculptor who spent his summers on Isle aux Grues and died there.
  • Return home to Ontario with coolers full of goodies.

More, as it develops.

If you have recommendations for must-make-stops along the proposed route, we’d love to hear them. Click here to e-mail CheeseLover.ca.

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.

A cheese lover’s tour of B.C. creameries set to start

A 2013 Buick Verano Turbo serves as the Cheesemobile for our B.C. Cheese Tour.

A 2013 Buick Verano Turbo serves as Official Cheesemobile for our B.C. Cheese Tour.

Francis has his Popemobile, CheeseLover.ca has its Cheesemobile.

It’s a luxurious Buick Verano Turbo to whisk us around British Columbia over the next three weeks. The mission is to see how much artisan and farmstead cheese we can enjoy—reporting on our tasting adventures here and on Facebook and Twitter.

As much as we look forward to sampling cheese new to our palates (and generally unavailable in Ontario), we especially look forward to getting to know the men and women who make the cheese. At our first stop, at Golden Ears Cheesecrafters, we’ll be getting into the make room to help make cheese curds.

Here’s the itinerary for the inaugural B.C. Cheese Tour, roughly in order of the routing we plan to take:

B.C. Cheese Tour II, perhaps in 2014

Starting with any of the above that we won’t be able to visit this summer and continuing on to

B.C. Cheese Tour III will focus on Vancouver Island:

Click here for Google Map showing all 25 artisan cheese producers in B.C.

Much thanks to General Motors Canada for providing the Buick Verano for our B.C. Cheese Tour.

—Georgs Kolesnikovs

Georgs Kolesnikovs is Cheese-Head-in-Chief at CheeseLover.ca and founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.