Biggest selection of best cheeses in Canada at #TGCCF

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What a huge selection of artisan cheese!

Twenty-two category winners at the recent Canadian Cheese Awards, and the Canadian Cheese of the Year, Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, will be in the spotlight. Plus another 100 more artisan and farmstead cheeses from coast to coast.

Clearly, the biggest selection of the best cheeses ever available for sampling and purchase in one place, that’s what cheese lovers will find at the sixth annual Great Canadian Cheese Festival in Picton on June 4-5.

Close to 40 Canadian cheese producers, including the crème of the crème of Quebec, will be on hand to share their passion and their stories with thousands of cheese lovers. There’s even an opportunity to socialize with cheesemakers at Raclette Rave, the Saturday evening social highlight of the Festival.

Is there anything better than fresh cheese curds?

Is there anything better than fresh cheese curds?

Thanks to St. Albert Cheese Co-op, the first 1,000 ticket holders admitted on Saturday will enjoy a sample package of freshly made cheese curds. Soft and creamy, St. Albert curds have a delightful squeaky sound when chewed. On Sunday, the first 1,000 ticket holders will chowdown on grilled-cheese sandwiches freshly made by competing chefs using a blend of 14 award-winning cheeses. Yes, 14!

Also on Sunday, there is free admission to watch County chefs compete in the Road to Royal Chef Challenge being hosted by Royal Agricultural Winter Fair in conjunction with the Festival.

But there is more to #TGCCF than cheese, in fact, more than 500 foods and beverages are on offer. Included in price of admission: informative cheese seminars presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada, artisan foods galore, fine wine, craft beer, crisp cider, plus a souvenir tote, a souvenir glass, live music, dairy farm animals, food court and FREE parking.

Tickets are sold at the door but buying them online in advance means speedy access to all the deliciousness via the Express Entrance. Admission is $50 per person, seniors, $45. Children under 15 admitted free. Click to order tickets online.

Want to save a pile of money? Come as a group!

Here are the award-winning cheeses you will be able to sample and purchase on June 4-5:

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar: 2016 Canadian Cheese of the Year.

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar: 2016 Canadian Cheese of the Year.

CHEESE OF THE YEAR — FROMAGE D’EXCEPTION
Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar

Cows Creamery

Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island/L’Île-du-Prince-Édouard

MAIN CATEGORIES — CATÉGORIES PRINCIPALES

FRESH CHEESE – FROMAGE FRAIS

 
SEMI-SOFT CHEESE – FROMAGE À PÂTE SEMI-FERME
FIRM CHEESE – FROMAGE À PÂTE FERME
FIRM CHEESE WITH HOLES – FROMAGE À PÂTE FERME AVEC OUVERTURES
·      Oka l’Artisan – Agropur, Saint-Hubert, Québec
 
MIXED RIND CHEESE – FROMAGE À CROÛTE MIXTE
  • Zoey, Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario
BLOOMY RIND CHEESE – PÂTE MOLLE À CROÛTE FLEURIE

 

OLD CHEDDAR (aged from 9 to 18 months) – CHEDDAR FORT (entre 9 et 18 mois d’affinage)
  • Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar, Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario
 

AGED CHEDDAR (aged more than 18 months) – CHEDDAR VIEILLI (plus de 18 mois d’affinage)

  • Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar – Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
GOUDA CHEESE – FROMAGE GOUDA
BLUE CHEESE –  FROMAGE À PÂTE PERSILLÉE
FLAVOURED CHEESE – FROMAGE AROMATISÉ
SPECIAL AWARDS — PRIX SPÉCIAUX
BEST COW CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE VACHE
·      Appletree Smoked Cheddar – Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island
BEST GOAT CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE CHÈVRE
  • Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar, Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario
BEST SHEEP CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT DE BREBIS
BEST BLENDED-MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT MIXTE
  • Zoey, Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario
BEST FARMSTEAD CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE FERMIER
BEST ORGANIC CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE BIOLOGIQUE
BEST RAW-MILK CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE LAIT CRU
BEST NEW CHEESE – MEILLEUR NOUVEAU FROMAGE (Introduced to market in 2015/Mis en marché en 2015)
  • Zoey, Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario
REGIONAL AWARDS — PRIX RÉGIONAUX
BEST ONTARIO CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DE L’ONTARIO
  • Tania, Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity – Mariposa Dairy, Lindsay, Ontario
BEST QUEBEC CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DU QUÉBEC
BEST ATLANTIC CANADA CHEESE – MEILLEUR FROMAGE DES PROVINCES ATLANTIQUES
  • Appletree Smoked Cheddar – Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island

Fromage-AmourTradition_4coul-e1419193019649The Great Canadian Cheese Festival is produced by Cheese Lover Productions with the generous support of Celebrate Ontario. Dairy Farmers of Canada is Diamond Sponsor, Prince Edward County is Gold Sponsor, Bay of Quinte Region is Principal Partner.

Picton Fairgrounds is located in the heart of Prince Edward County, south of Belleville in Bay of Quinte Region. One hour from Kingston, two hours from Toronto, three hours from Ottawa and New York State, and less than four hours from Montreal.

 

How many Cheese Grand Prix finalists have you tasted?

canadian-cheese-grand-prix_halfpagewidthThe 81 finalists in the 2015 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix have been announced. The prestigious biennial competition sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada saw 268 cheeses submitted in 27 categories.

The winners will be announced April 22 at a Gala of Champions in Toronto.

Quebec, home to the majority of Canada’s cheese producers, dominates the list of 81 finalists with 31 cheeses. Naturally, some of the larger producers have the most finalists: Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, 7 finalists, Sylvan Star Cheese, 6, and Natural Pastures Cheese Company and Fromagerie du Presbytère, 5.

The competition, open to cheese made exclusively with Canadian cow’s milk, first started in 1998 to promote achievement and innovation in cheesemaking and to spotlight the quality of Canadian milk.

Here are the 2015 finalists:category 1 fresh ch#196C2DE

Fresh Cheese

category 2 fresh pa#196C2EAFresh Pasta Filata

category 3 cheese w#196C2E9Fresh Cheese with grilling properties

category 4 soft che#196C307Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

category 5 soft che#196C2F8Cream-enriched Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

category 6 semi-sof#196C2EFSemi-soft Cheese

category 7 soft wit#196C2F0Washed- or Mixed-Rind Soft Cheese

category 8 semi-sof#196C305Washed- or Mixed-Rind Semi-soft Cheese

category 9 firm che#196C2F2Washed- or Mixed-Rind Firm Cheese

category 10 firm in#196C2DBFirm Cheese (except Cheddar and Gouda)

category 11 swiss 1#196C2ECSwiss-type Cheese

category 12 mozzare#196C2FFMozzarella (Ball, Brick or Cylinder) or Pasta Filata

category 13 ripened#196C2FBBrine-ripened Cheese

category 14 gouda 1#196C302Gouda (aged 1 to 6 months)

category 16 gouda 9#196C308Aged Gouda

category 17 extra g#196C2F9Extra Aged Gouda

category 18 blue ch#196C2E7Blue Cheese

category 19 flavour#196C2E4Flavoured Cheese with added non-particulate flavourings (except smoked cheese)

category 20 smoked #196C313Smoked Cheese

category 21 flavour#196C2F5Flavoured Cheese with added particulate solids and flavourings

category 20 smoked #196C313Mild Cheddar (aged 3 months)

category 23 medium #196C2F6Medium Cheddar (aged 4 to 9 months)

category 24 cheddar#196C2F3Old Cheddar (aged from 9 months to a year)

category 25 cheddar#196C2FCAged Cheddar (1 to 3 years)

category 26 cheddar#196C304Aged Cheddar (more than 3 years)

category 27 fromage#196C2DDFarmhouse Cheese

category 28 fromage#196C301Organic Cheese

Typically, many of the finalists and winners are available for sampling and purchase at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, this year taking place June 6-7 at Picton Fairgrounds in the heart of Ontario’s Prince Edward County, just south of Belleville in Bay of Quinte Region, near spectacular Sandbanks Provincial Park.

 

Crispy greens win Mac & Cheese showdown at CNE

Chef Andrew Farrell and Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese.

Chef Andrew Farrell and Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese.

Chef Andrew Farrell of Halifax took home top honours at the 2014 Grate Canadian Cheese Cook-Off for his Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese. The Mac & Cheese showdown took place at Dairy Farmers of Canada’s Canadian Cheese Counter at the Canadian National Exhibition in Toronto in front of a crowd of cheese fans yesterday.

Four accomplished chefs and foodies from across Canada took to the stage in an attempt to create the ultimate comfort food using Canadian cheese, pasta and a little imagination.  In the end, it was Chef Andrew Farrell from 2 Doors Down in Halifax who emerged victorious.

Chef Farrell’s Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese was voted best overall by a panel of four cheese-loving judges. His dish packs a whole lot of Nova Scotia into one dish, with four cheeses from That Dutchman’s Farm—three Gouda and one Blue—produced in Upper Economy, Nova Scotia. Cheesy noodles are then topped with a kale-broccoli-Brussels sprouts crust and Sriracha hot sauce adds a spicy kick.

“The competition was as sharp as Canadian cheddar,” said Andrew Farrell. “All the dishes looked delectable and the crowd was really engaged. I am so thrilled my Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese, featuring three Goudas and Dragon’s Breath Blue cheese from That Dutchman’s Farm, won the hearts and taste buds of the judges.”

This year’s four fierce competitors included Bal Arneson, Food Network TV host and award-winning author from Vancouver, British Columbia; chef David Bohati, executive chef at MARKET Restaurant in Calgary, Alberta; Kevin Durkee, owner of CHEESEWERKS in Toronto, Ontario; and chef Andrew Farrell, head chef at 2 Doors Down in Halifax, Nova Scotia.

The judging panel consisted of Sue Riedl, journalist, blogger and cheese ambassador; Rita DeMontis, Sun Media food editor; Jason Bangerter, executive chef and 2012 Grate Canadian (Grilled) Cheese Cook-Off champion, as well as Lorie Chater, cheese lover from Halifax, Nova Scotia, and the winner of the nation-wide contest for a “professional mac & cheese taster.”

The Cook-Off was organized by Dairy Farmers of Canada to take Canada’s beloved Mac & Cheese to a whole new level and showcase the outstanding quality, variety, taste, and versatility of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.

Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese.

Crispy Greens Mac & Cheese.

Cheese lovers across Canada can access the four Mac & Cheese recipes and find tips for making the perfect Mac & Cheese by visiting www.allyouneedischeese.ca/cookoff.

Cheese-rolling madness returns to Whistler

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Dairy Farmers of Canada will host one of Canada’s most unique events again this summer when the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival takes place August 16 from 12 noon to 4 p.m. in Whistler, British Columbia. In its seventh year, the festival features cheese rolling races, costume contests and other fun activities for the whole family.

An 11-pound wheel of Courtenay Cheddar cheese, produced by British Columbia cheesemaker Natural Pastures, will roll down a hill and enthusiastic and ambitious cheese lovers will chase after it. The first contestant to make it down the hill wins. The winners get to take home the giant, coveted wheel of delicious Canadian cheese and a Whistler season ski pass for two.

“Cheese-loving Canadians and visitors from all over the world eagerly await the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival year-after-year and Dairy Farmers of Canada is thrilled to bring it back again,” says Sandra Da Silva of Dairy Farmers of Canada.  “With all the many activities the festival has to offer, it’s a great event for the entire family and a fantastic way to shine a spotlight on Canadian cheese.”

The race course will be set up in Whistler’s Upper Village on Blackcomb Mountain. Free round trip transportation to the Blackcomb Mountain Base 2 parking lot via Excalibur Gondola in Whistler village is available for everyone.  Anyone over 19 years of age can participate and contestants can register on site on August 16at 11:00 am. The downhill event will consist of seven men’s and four women’s races. The winner from each round will compete in the finals. For the kids, there will also be uphill races categorized by age.

A costume contest will be held again this year. All race participants are invited to wear costumes for the chance to win a $500 gift voucher from Marketplace IGA. Prior to each race heat, the official cheese roller will award costumed contestants a ribbon. After all the race heats, all ribbon-awarded costumed contestants will gather at the base of the course, where a panel of judges will select their top five favourite costumes, which will then be judged by the crowd. Team costumes will be judged as one participating unit, not individually. The contestant or team that receives the most applause will be selected as the costume contest winner(s).

Participants, families and spectators can take in a host of other fun things at the festival, including activities for children, free cheese seminars and a Cheese Market full of delicious samples of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk. Visitors will also be able to buy cheeses from different Canadian provinces. Vancouver native and Breakfast Television host, Riaz Meghji, will emcee the event again.

In addition to the numerous pre-promotion events in Whistler village a few days before the event, Dairy Farmers of Canada partnered with Sobey’s nationally and Marketplace IGA in British Columbia for in-store promotions and a contest. Visit any Sobey’s store in the Maritimes, Ontario and the Prairies until July 20, as well as Marketplace IGA in British Columbia until July 13, for a chance to win a trip for two to the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival.

To learn more about the Canadian Cheese Rolling Festival and to view videos and photos from past festivals, visit www.canadiancheeserolling.ca.

Cheese Tasting Gala: What a deal for $25 per person!

Who will win Canadian Cheese of the Year honours?

Who will be named Canadian Cheese of the Year?

Winners in the inaugural Canadian Cheese Awards/Le Concours des fromages fins canadiens will be revealed during an Awards Ceremony, Reception and Tasting Gala open to the public on April 7 at St. Lawrence Market North in Toronto.

The new and independent competition, with Loblaw Companies as Marquee Sponsor, has quickly become the biggest cheese competition in Canada with 76 producers from Newfoundland to British Columbia submitting 291 cheeses for judging. Appropriately, the competition will reach its climax at the venue National Geographic has called the world’s best food market.

The competition culminates on Monday, April 7, when the Awards Ceremony begins at 3 p.m. with the announcement of 30 award winners plus the Canadian Cheese of Year followed by an Awards Reception at 5 p.m. The Awards Tasting Gala begins at 6 p.m. with the winners as well as finalists on display for tasting by the public.

Qui sera connue sous le nom de fromage de l'année?

Qui sera connue sous le nom de fromage de l’année?

More than 50 different cheeses will be available for sampling, including Canadian Cheese of the Year and 30 other award winners. Admission to the age-of-majority event includes:

Tickets are for sale only online at <http://tinyurl.com/Awards-Tickets>. Admission is $25 per person for the Awards Tasting Gala. A limited number of tickets are also available for the Awards Ceremony and Reception at $25 each.

Guests at the Tasting Gala can enhance their experience by engaging with “experts in the crowd” in red aprons–like cheese educator Julia Rogers–who will have you tasting and talking cheese like a pro from your very first bite.

Anita Stewart, culinary activist, author, founder of Food Day Canada and Food Laureate, University of Guelph, will host the festivities.

For additional information, please visit CheeseAwards.ca or telephone 1-866-865-2628.

Click here for a preview of the finalists in the search for the best artisan cheeses made in Canada.

Judging took place at University of Guelph, Department of Food Science, headed by Dr. Arthur Hill, Chair and Professor in Food Science and an internationally recognized authority in cheese technology.

Loblaw Companies is the Marquee Sponsor.

Loblaw Companies is Marquee Sponsor.

The Canadian Cheese Awards is sponsored by Loblaw Companies and Dairy Farmers of Canada, La Ferme Black River Game Farm, Plaisirs Gourmets, Palatine Hills Estate Winery, The Grange of Prince Edward Vineyards & Estate Winery, Mill St. Brewery, ACE Bakery, Seed to Sausage and The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, with historic St. Lawrence Market the venue sponsor.

World's best food market is the Host Sponsor.

World’s best food market is Host Sponsor.

The Official Cheesemongers of the Awards are cheese shops of St. Lawrence Market: Chris’ Cheesemongers, Olympic Cheese Mart and Scheffler’s Delicatessen & Cheese.

As a service to the cheese industry and as a guide for consumers, Canadian Cheese Awards is being organized by The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, the biggest artisan cheese show in Canada that is held annually in June in Ontario’s Prince Edward County, in Bay of Quinte Region near Belleville. Georgs Kolesnikovs, founder and director of the Cheese Festival, serves as Awards Chairman.

Canadian Cheese Awards
St. Lawrence Market North
92 Front Street East, Toronto
Monday, April 7, 2014
Website CheeseAwards.ca
Telephone 1-866-865-2628.

Psst! If Toronto on April 7 doesn’t work for you, the winners will be featured at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival on June 7 and 8. To save 15% off the ticket price for admission to the Cheese Festival, enter the promo code CF14AT before starting your order: http://cheesefestival.ca/tickets/

Celebrate the holidays with Canadian cheese champions

A divine crab and Quality Cheese Ricotta mousse.

A divine crab and Quality Cheese Ricotta mousse.

Canadians looking for the perfect way to enhance meals and gift-giving this holiday season need look no further than Canadian cheese, known around the world for its high quality, versatility and great taste. To help create the perfect holiday experience, the elves at Dairy Farmers of Canada have just released more than 20 mouth-watering recipes featuring 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix category winners that are guaranteed to delight food-loving friends and family.

“These creative recipes will completely amaze your guests,” says Michael Howell, Executive Chef of Tempestuous Culinary in Wolfville, Nova Scotia. “The taste, quality and versatility of Canadian cheese know no bounds. These award winners lend themselves beautifully to holiday meals and really raise the bar for taste and pleasure.”

The innovative recipes, developed using 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix category winners from Alberta, Ontario, Quebec, and PEI, provide holiday hosts with a full range of dishes, including appetizers and main courses, as well as a delectable dessert. Recipes include:

  • Appetizer: Oven-roasted Latin Foods Queso Fresco cheese and apples
  • Appetizer: Crab and Quality Cheese Ricotta mousse
  • Appetizer: Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar pastry with sweet potato purée and roasted tomatoes
  • Main course: Gunn’s Hill Five Brothers cheese and butter-nutty pecan turkey
  • Main course: Asian baked salmon with Le Noble cheese
  • Dessert: Bleu D’Élizabeth cheese, dark chocolate and date bites

Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk also makes a great gift all on its own.

“For those times when you aren’t wearing the chef hat and are a guest at a dinner, a great ‘out-of-the-box’ gift idea for the host or hostess is to create a beautifully assembled basket of award-winning Canadian cheeses,” says chef Michael.  “With any luck, your hosts may feel generous and share the basket with you and the other guests.”

All the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix award winners, with tasting notes, are listed at AllYouNeedIsCheese.ca/GrandPrix. Keep in mind that when purchasing a variety of cheeses, a good sampler size is 150 grams for each wedge.

“You really can’t go wrong giving the gift of award-winning Canadian cheeses; we make some of the best cheeses in the world,” says chef Howell. “Just remember to buy a little extra for yourself since we all need a pleasurable treat during the holidays.”

For more information on the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix winners and for recipes, visit AllYouNeedIsCheese.ca/GrandPrix.

About the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix
Sponsored by Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC), the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix began in 1998 to promote achievement and innovation in cheese making and to increase appreciation for fine quality Canadian cheese. All eligible cheeses must be produced in Canada, bear the 100% Canadian Milk symbol on their packaging and be available at retail.

The cheeses are judged by a jury of experts from across Canada who are recognized in each of their respective domain in the food industry. Canada has a wide variety of world-class cheese makers from coast-to-coast. It is part of DFC’s mission to promote the great cheeses produced in Canada. We have so many different types of cheeses – from Cheddar to soft cheese, Blue cheese and flavoured cheese! The Canadian Cheese Grand Prix helps consumers learn more about great Canadian cheeses available in their local grocery or cheese store.

About Dairy Farmers of Canada
Dairy Farmers of Canada (DFC) strives to create favourable conditions for the Canadian dairy industry, today and in the future. DFC works to maintain policies that foster the viability of Canadian dairy producers and to promote quality Canadian dairy products made from 100% Canadian milk as part of a healthy balanced diet.

SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing)

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.