Start your day at #TGCCF with free cheese curds

Is there anything better than fresh cheese curds?

Is there anything better than fresh cheese curds?

The first 1,000 cheese lovers through the doors at The Great Canadian Cheese Festival will receive a free sampler of fresh cheese curds made by St. Albert Cheese Co-operative earlier in the day.

It’s one of the many ways we’ll be celebrating the fifth anniversary of the biggest cheese show in Canada. It also celebrates remarkable recovery by St. Albert Cheese Co-op from a devastating fire two years ago.

The free cheese curds will be available on Saturday, June 6. We have another giveaway in the works for Sunday, June 7.

FESTIVAL ADMISSION INCLUDES:

•   Sample and purchase more than 150 outstanding Canadian artisan and farmstead cheeses from 30+ Canadian cheesemakers coast to coast.

•   Plus artisan foods, plus fine wines and craft beers, plus a food court. In total, more than 500 different cheeses, foods and beverages on offer.

•   An insulated Festival cooler bag for hauling fromage and other purchases home.

•   Glass for sampling wine and beer for 19+.

•   Admittance on first-come, first-served basis to seminars in the All You Need Is Cheese Annex presented by Dairy Farmers of Canada.

•   Live music by Starpainters duo. Click here for a sampler.

•   All You Need Is Cheese magazine courtesy of Dairy Farmers of Canada.

•   A photo op with Yvette, a water buffalo, in the Festival Dairy Farm.

•   Special admission pricing for seniors 60+ and groups.

•   Families are welcome with children 15 and younger admitted FREE when accompanied by an adult.

•   FREE parking.

Click here to order your tickets today!

Visit CheeseFestival.ca for complete information including special events such as. For assistance, email info@cheesefestival.ca telephone 705.632.1503.

Plan to make a weekend of it in Prince Edward County, as one day won’t be enough to sample all 500 cheeses, foods and beverages on offer—and see all that the County has to offer: Three dozen wineries, two cheese plants plus spectacular Sandbanks Provincial Park.

Find accommodations to suit your tastes and budget by clicking here. For assistance, telephone Prince Edward County Chamber of Tourism & Commerce at 1.800.640.4717.

Spread the cheese love. Use the hashtag #TGCCF when tweeting about the biggest cheese show in Canada.

Best cheeses of the “British Empire” in 2010

Lori Legacey, cheesemaker at Mariposa Dairy, has a sniff of a 19-kilo wheel of cheddar. The dairy's Lindsay Bandage Cheddar beat out 40 other goat-milk cheeses in the British Empire Cheese Competition. Photo by Lisa Gervais/The Lindsay Post.

Here are the results of the cheese competition at the 83rd annual British Empire Cheese Show organized by Central Ontario Cheesemakers Association:

The Alexis De Portneuf division of cheese giant Saputo was crowned Grand Champion.

Quebec cheesemaker Fromagerie La Vache à Maillotte was named Reserve Champion.

Fifth Town Artisan Cheese, an artisan cheesemaker  in Ontario’s Prince Edward County, was honoured with the Finica Food Specialties Award.

In the cheddar class, Parmalat Canada was recognized as Grand Champion. Reserve Champion honours went to Fromagerie Isle-aux-Grues.

Glengarry Fine Cheese, after an excellent showing at Royal Winter Fair, picked up several more awards at British Empire, as reported in Eastern Ontario AgriNews.

Here are the top three in each class of the competition:

ARTISAN

Goat Milk Cheese

  1. Lindsay Bandage Cheddar, Mariposa Dairy (Finica Food Specialties)
  2. Cape Vessey, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
  3. Operetta, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese

Sheep Milk Cheese

  1. Bonnie and Floyd, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
  2. Toscano, Monforte Dairy
  3. Wishing Tree, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese

SPECIALTY CLASS

Hard Cheese Type

  1. Glengarry Fen, Glengarry Fine Cheese
  2. Lankaaster Aged, Glengarry Fine Cheese
  3. Romano, St. Albert Cheese Co-Operative

Firm Cheese Type

  1. Lankaaster Medium, Glengarry Fine Cheese
  2. Nouvelle France, Agropur
  3. Fondue Prestigio, Agropur

Swiss Cheese Type

  1. Artisan, Agropur
  2. Swiss, Fromagerie Lemaire
  3. Mont Gleason, Saputo/Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage

Semi-Firm Cheese Type

  1. Raclette du Village, Saputo/Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage
  2. Le Cabouron, Fromagerie Blackburn (Fromages CDA)
  3. Le Cendre, Saputo/Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage

Fresh Cheese Type

  1. Mascarpone, Arla Foods
  2. Ricotta, Quality Cheese
  3. Prestigio Ricotta, Agropur

Soft Rind Cheese Type

  1. St. Honoré, Saputo/Alexis De Portneuf
  2. Triple Crème du Village, Saputo/Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage
  3. Cendre de Lune, Saputo/Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage

Smear Ripened Type

  1. Mamirolle, Fromagerie Eco Delices (Fromages CDA)
  2. Mont Jacob, Fromagerie Blackburn (Fromages CDA)
  3. Raclette, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser (Fromages CDA)

Flavoured Soft Type

  1. Lady Laurier d’Arthabaska, Saputo/Fromagerie 1860 DuVillage
  2. Raclette Oka, Agropur
  3. Chevalier Tomato Basil, Agropur

Flavoured Firm Type

  1. Lankaaster Chive, Glengarry Fine Cheese
  2. Smoked Cheddar, Parmalat Canada
  3. Lankaaster Cumin, Glengarry Fine Cheese

Blue Veined Cheese

  1. Celtic Blue, Glengarry Fine Cheese
  2. La Roche Noire, Saputo/Alexis De Portneuf
  3. Bleubry, Saputo/Alexis De Portneuf

American Style Type

  1. Brick, St. Albert Cheese Co-Operative
  2. Monterey Jack, Bothwell Cheese
  3. American Mozzarella, Parmalat Canada

Pasta Filata Type

  1. Bocconcini, International Cheese
  2. Burrata, Quality Cheese
  3. Fresh Mozzarella, Quality Cheese

Goat Milk Cheese

  1. Le Paillot de Chevre, Saputo/Alexis De Portneuf
  2. Rondoux Chevre, Agropur
  3. Chevrita, Agropur

Sheep Milk Cheese

  1. Allegretto, Fromagerie La Vache a Maillotte
  2. Bedda Fedda, Fifth Town Artisan Cheese
  3. Blossom, Monforte Dairy

Process Cheese

  1. Spreadable Cream Cheese Product, Parmalat Canada
  2. Spreadable Cream Cheese Product, Parmalat Canada
  3. Spreadable Cream Cheese Product, Parmalat Canada

CHEDDAR

Mild White or Coloured Cheddar – Less than 2 months of age, 40 lb. or more

  1. Parmalat Canada
  2. Empire Cheese & Butter Coop
  3. Black River Cheese

Medium White Cheddar – 3 to 6 months of age, 40 lb. or more

  1. Parmalat Canada
  2. Fromagerie Isle-aux-Grues
  3. Amalgamated Dairies

Medium Coloured Cheddar – 3 to 6 months of age, 40 lb. or more

  1. Parmalat Canada
  2. Bothwell Cheese
  3. Empire Cheese & Butter Co-op

Marbled Cheddar – any age, 40 lb. or more

  1. Bothwell Cheese
  2. Empire Cheese & Butter Co-Op
  3. St. Albert Cheese Co-Operative

Mature Cheddar – 12 to 15 months of age, 40 lb. or more

  1. Parmalat Canada
  2. St. Albert Cheese
  3. Fromagerie Isle-aux-Grues

Extra Mature Cheddar – 24 to 36 months of age, 40 lb. or more

  1. Parmalat Canada
  2. Maple Dale Cheese
  3. St. Albert Cheese Co-Operative

Grilled-cheese sandwiches taste better afloat

A grilled-cheese sandwich—with fine cheese, good bread and lots of butter—is great eating just about any time, but when you’re aboard your boat, cruising around Lake Ontario’s Golden Horseshoe for two weeks, it’s golden.

We tried grilling a sandwich using a light rye with caraway with, for the first time, German Limburger cheese (above) and it turned out sharp yet delicious. Later that day, when I talked with Julia Rogers on the phone about The Great Canadian Cheese Festival, I mentioned the Limburger variation and she suggested we sometime try Pont-l’Évêque, the pungent cheese of Normandy. Which we will do.

Another delicious sandwich resulted from the use of St. Albert Extra Old Cheddar. Cheddar is such a natural on toasted bread, but we did expect Extra Old Cheddar to have more oomph. On the other hand, as I believe it’s aged only 22 months, our expectations were unreasonable.

But, combine the St. Albert with a supermarket Blue such as the Danish Rosenborg, and it immediately became our favourite of the cruise. The Blue gives the Cheddar the zing that we love. (We almost always have Rosenborg Castello in the cheese bin. Not so much for snacking or eating as for use in salads. It’s inexpensive and readily available in supermarkets.)

Our all-time favourite grilled-cheese was the Camembert and Blue combination we enjoyed maybe 15 years ago, also on a boat, this time in Southwest Florida. The sharp Blue was the perfect counterpoint to the creaminess of the Camembert, all of it oozing out of crusty French bread, well-buttered, of course!

—Georgs Kolesnikovs

Georgs Kolesnikovs, Cheese-Head-in-Chief at CheeseLover.ca, loves boating as much as he enjoys cheese.

Good cheese hunting: Day 11, kicking back in Montreal

Lest you think we’re slacking off in the good cheese hunt, here’s a look at what’s in our portable cheese bin at the moment, clockwise starting from the upper left:

For the next few days, as we get down to serious sight-seeing in Montreal, we might drop out of sight as far as the blog goes. Besides, we need to munch our way through the cheeses shown above. After all, the cheese hunt will start again with a bang when we hit Warwick on Thursday for Festival des Fromages de Warwick.

Tonight, it was bistro night in our suite at Holiday Inn Express in downtown Montreal. A few mouthfuls of a rich smoked salmon, a chunk of Balderson 3-year, a chunk of the great Celtic Blue, and a chunk of unsalted butter with the fresh baguette. The vin rouge was a no-name from France that we found at the neighbourhood IGA for under $10.

A final note: During a visit to Dairy Farmers of Canada, it was most encouraging to learn how DFC promotes Canadian cheese in so many different ways.

St. Albert cow won’t have to mooove

Statue of cow can remain on roof of Cheddar Et Cetera—for now.

A bovine brouhaha has erupted in Ottawa over a Holstein statue on the roof of a cheese shop owned by St. Albert Cheese Co-operative. For now, the life-size cow can stay atop Cheddar Et Cetera in the east-end suburb of Orleans.

Ottawa’s bylaw inspectors had demanded the bogus bovine be put out to pasture on grounds that it contravenes a city regulation banning rooftop advertising. Not to be cowed, store manager Jacques Leury quickly collected the signatures of more than 2,000 customers on a petition.

City councillor Bob Monette then came to Bossy’s defence and orchestrated a stay of execution until the city planning staff can review the bylaw on signage. A report is not expected until late in 2010.

St. Albert Cheese Co-op has been making cheese since 1894. It produces cheddars and specialty cheeses and hosts the annual Festival de la Curd which last year attracted  40,000 people. This year, the festival takes place August 18-22 in St. Albert east of Ottawa.