Cheese, the low Road

“What is the difference between a winemaker and God ? God doesn’t think he is a winemaker….”

In blog post 27 I talked about some of the great cheeses made in the world that are wine friendly. The problem is those cheeses can be difficult to get once you are outside of Vancouver. Les Amis Du Fromage and Benton Brothers are great shops but what happens if you live in Kelowna or Prince Rupert ? I realize the choices for great cheese become limited and the options for unpasteurized import cheese are almost zero. With that in mind I thought I would come back and talk about my favorite options for higher production volume cheese that are more widely available.

• Oka cheese from Quebec. This cheese has been in production since 1893. It started out being made by Trappist Monks at Oka Abbey in Deux-Montagnes, Quebec and was based on the recipe for Port Salut. Since 1981 it has been made by the manufacturer Agropur. Oka has a wide distribution in supermarket chains and is well suited for red wines. Generally I enjoy whites with cheese over red but this is my exception. http://www.pleasureandcheeses.ca/cheeses/family/oka

• Coastal Cheddar is made by Ford Farm Cheesemakers in Dorchester England. It is a white cheddar that has a distinctive distinctive crunch – a result of the calcium lactate crystals which form naturally in the cheese as it matures. This cheese is brilliant for the money. Widely available in North America and one of the top selling imported cheddar’s for a reason. The price at Costco is exceptional as well. Super thin slices on a cheese board with white burgundy are sublime. Grate the leftovers into a frittata and you are gold ! https://www.fordfarm.com/

• Here is my wild card pick .Le Cendrillon (“Cendrillon” means “Cinderella” in French) is a vegetable ash-covered, soft, surface-ripened goat cheese that was crowned the ‘Best Cheese in the World’ at the 2009 World Cheese Awards. It was the first cheese from Quebec to ever receive such a prestigious honour. Made by the big Canadian Cheese manufacturer Saputo. Worth a hunt to track this down. Fantastic with Loire Valley whites and Belgian Ales. https://www.alexisdeportneuf.com/en/Products/Goat-Cheese/le-cendrillon

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Remember Spit Happens, tell your friends, drink great wine and eat great food. Cheers

David Lancelot