Zacharie Cloutier best of the best in Québec

Grand Champion: Zacharie Cloutier, a raw sheep's milk cheese from Fromagerie Nouvelle France. Photo Vanessa Simmons.

Grand Champion: Zacharie Cloutier, a raw sheep’s milk cheese from Fromagerie Nouvelle France. Photo Vanessa Simmons.

Fromagerie Nouvelle France dominated Caseus Sélection 2014, the prestigious competition for Quebec cheese producers which concluded September 16 with announcement of winners in Québec City.

Nouvelle France’s Zacharie Cloutier, a sheep’s milk cheese, was named Grand Champion as well as Gold Award winner. Nouvelle France also won the two sheep’s milk categories, Zacharie Cloutier taking washed, natural or mixed rind honours while La Madelaine was judged best bloomy rind.

Additionally, Pionnier, a collaboration between Nouvelle France and Fromagerie du Presbytere, was named best blended-milk cheese.

Where to buy Zacharie Cloutier outside Québec.

In the 16-year history of Caseus, no single producer has so dominated the competition sponsored by Quebec’s Ministry of Agriculture and Metro and Provigo supermarkets.

Jean-Paul and Marie-Chantal Houde, the brother and sister behind award-winning Fromagerie Nouvelle France.

Jean-Paul and Marie-Chantal Houde, the brother and sister behind award-winning Fromagerie Nouvelle France.

Forty-seven producers submitted 176 cheeses for the judging. The winners are:

Caseus Émérite/Grand Champion

Caseus Or/Gold Award

Caseus Argent/Silver Award

Caseus Bronze/Bronze Award

Caseus Longaevi/Special Award

Best raw-milk cheese and best organic cheese: Alfred le Fermier from Fromagerie La Station.

Best raw-milk cheese and best organic cheese: Alfred le Fermier from Fromagerie La Station.

OPEN CLASS (All producers, all milks)

Sheep’s milk cheese with bloomy rind

La Madelaine
Fromagerie Nouvelle France

Sheep’s milk cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

Zacharie Cloutier
Fromagerie Nouvelle France

Blue cheese, all milks

Rebellion 1837
Fromagerie Montebello

Blended milk cheese (milk from different animal species)

Pionnier
Fromagerie Nouvelle France et Fromagerie du Presbytère

Interior-ripened cheese without ripening holes

Le Chèvre Noir vieilli
Agropur Unité d’affaires Fromages fins

Interior-ripened cheese with ripening holes

Cogruet
La Fromagerie DuVillage 1860

Unripened cheese

Le Louché
Les Fromages du Verger

Cheese flavoured by smoking, maceration or the addition of flavoured ingredients

Le Calumet
Fromagerie Bergeron

Cheese flavoured with spices, vegetables, fruit or nuts

Le Capri’Cieux Amandière
Ferme Mes Petits Caprices

Cheese curds made fresh daily

Cheddar en grains
La Fromagerie Champêtre

Best raw-milk cheese

Alfred le Fermier
Fromagerie La Station

Best organic cheese

Alfred le Fermier
Fromagerie La Station

Cheddar

Agropur Grand Cheddar 3 ans
Agropur Unité d’affaires Fromages fins

Rebellion 1837 made by Fromagerie Montebello took top blue-cheese honours.

Rebellion 1837 made by Fromagerie Montebello took top blue-cheese honours.

Producers processing less than 1 million litres per year

Cow’s milk cheese

Soft cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

Ste-Anne
Fromagerie FX Pichet

Semi-soft cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

Le Mont-Jacob
Fromagerie Blackburn

Firm or hard cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

Le Frère Chasseur
Fromagerie Au Gré des Champs

Bloomy rind

Laliberté
Fromagerie du Presbytère

Goat’s milk cheese

Bloomy rind

Chèvre à ma manière
Fromagerie l’Atelier

Washed, natural or mixed rind

Tomme de la Lachevrotière
Fromagerie des Grondines

Producers processing more than 1 million litres per year

Cow’s milk cheese

Soft cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

La Tentation de Laurier
La Fromagerie DuVillage 1860

Semi-soft cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

Le Bocké
La Fromagerie Champêtre

Firm or hard cheese with washed, natural or mixed rind

Pacific Rock
La Fromagerie Alexis de Portneuf

Bloomy rind

Cendré de Lune
La Fromagerie DuVillage 1860

 Site see: Caseus Selection 2014

Bleu d’Élizabeth best of the best in Québec cheese

Caseus winners Dominic and Jean Morin of Fromagerie du Presbytere.

Caseus winners Dominic (left) and Jean Morin of Fromagerie du Presbytère.

For the second year in a row, Bleu d’Élizabeth made by Fromagerie du Presbytère has won the coveted gold medal in the Caseus Québec Fine Cheese Competition, the annual judging of cow-, goat- and sheep-milk cheeses produced by Québec cheesemakers.

For its repeat performance, Bleu d’Élizabeth was also honored with the Caseus Emeritus award.

For the Morin brothers—Jean is the cheesemaker, Dominic manages the fourth-generation dairy farm—the awards just keep on coming. Earlier this year, Bleu d’Élizabeth won two medals in the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix, for best blue and best organic cheese. Two years, ago Élizabeth was named runner-up in the prestigious American Cheese Society competition.

What’s the secret to their success? Happy cows is Jean Morin’s stock answer, but he adds: “Every morning I start the day by asking myself what I can do better today than yesterday.”

Bleu d'Élizabeth

Bleu d’Élizabeth

That drive for perfection shows in Bleu d’Élizabeth, so soft, rich and creamy, with lovely grey-greenish veins, with understated saltiness, and a distinct earthy aroma.

The Caseus awards were presented yesterday in the National Assembly in Québec City by Agriculture Minister Francois Gendron. More than 40 producers entered 165 cheeses in 24 categories of competition.

Mont Jacob

Mont Jacob

The Caseus silver medal went to Mont Jacob, a washed-rind cheese made by Fromagerie Blackburn, while the bronze was awarded to Pionnier, a firm cheese made with a blend of cow and sheep milk in a collaboration between Jean Morin of Fromagerie du Presbytère and Marie-Chantal Houde of Fromagerie Nouvelle France.

Pionnier with its two collaborators

Pionnier with its two collaborators

A new Caseus medal honoring excellence in aged cheese went to the 24-month Alfred Le Fermier made by Fromagerie La Station.

Alfred Le Fermier

Alfred Le Fermier

For the winners in all Caseus categories, please click here.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food is the lead sponsor for the Caseus competition. The Institute of Food Technology, Campus Saint-Hyacinthe, manages the judging.

This year for the first time the jury included a judge from Ontario, Vanessa Simmons of Ottawa, cheese sommelier at Savvy Company and presenter of guided tastings at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

For information about the availability of all winners except Mont Jacob, contact Plaisirs Gourmets. For information on Mont Jacob, contact Fromages CDA.