Cheese Lovers! The Finalists Are In

By / Food / February 24th, 2011 / 2

The Dairy Farmers of Canada spent last Friday and Saturday immersed in cheese. They were judging the seventh Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. They sniffed, tasted and ultimately evaluated 203 of the best cheese this country makes. What a great job that would be, don’t you think? After two days (and palate fatigue, no doubt) they arrived at 51 finalists in 18 categories. Unfortunately, we’ll have to wait until April 20 to hear who has been awarded Champion of each category and, ultimately, Grand Champion.

Competitions like this one are a great way to draw attention to the superior products Canadians produce. The judges were: Phil Bélanger, Jury Chairman; Gurth M. Pretty, Chef and author; Allison Spurrell, Owner of the cheese boutique Les Amis du Fromage and the cheese-inspired restaurant Au Petit Chavignol in Vancouver; Antoine Sicotte, artist, television host, photographer, musician and self-taught cook; Ian Picard, Vice-President of La Fromagerie Hamel in Montreal; Rita Demontis, writer, Lifestyle and Food editor, and National Food Editor; Michael Howell, Chef, cookbook author, leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, owner of Tempest Restaurant in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

The judges were looking for colour and general appearance, texture and body, flavour and salt content. Given that there were 200 plus cheeses entered, the final criterium makes me realize how vibrant Canada’s cheese-making industry is: all cheese must be produced in Canada exclusively from 100% Canadian cow’s milk and be available to consumers at point of sale at the time they are judged.

Although we’ll have to wait to find out who the final winners are, check out the list below. If any of these cheese makers happen to hail from your corner of the country, stop in at their establishments, try their products and give them lots of encouragement to continue their great work.

These are the 51 finalists:

• Fromage cottage
l’ancienne (Beurrerie Du Patrimoine) QC
Mascarpone Tre Stelle (Arla Foods Inc.) ON
Omega-3 Ricotta (Silani Sweet Cheese Ltd.) ON

• Soft cheese with bloomy rind
Comox Brie (Natural Pastures Cheese Company) BC
Comox Camembert (Natural Pastures Cheese Company) BC
Island Bries (Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Ltd.) BC

• Semi-soft cheese
Lankaaster Traditional Gouda (Glengarry Fine Cheese) ON
Le Polichinel (Laiterie Chalifoux / Fromages Riviera) QC
Gouda Mild (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB

• Washed-rind cheese, soft and semi-soft cheese
Magie de Madawasca (Fromagerie Le Détour) QC
Le Rang des Iles (Fromagerie Médard) QC
Le Mont-Jacob (Fromagerie Blackburn) QC

• Firm cheese
Gouda Aged (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB
Lankaaster Traditional Gouda Aged (Glengarry Fine Cheese) ON
Louis d’Or (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC

• Swiss-type cheese
Fromage Suisse Lemaire (Fromagerie Lemaire) QC
Le Lotbinière (Fromagerie Bergeron inc.) QC
Le Moine (Fromagerie Abbaye St-Benoît) QC

• Mozzarella
Burratta Bella Casara (Quality Cheese Inc.) ON
Mozzarella Tre Stelle (Arla Foods Inc.) ON
Bocconcini Santa Lucia (International Cheese Co. Ltd.) ON

• Blue cheese
Le Rassembleu (Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde) QC
Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC
Celtic Blue (Glengarry Fine Cheese) ON

• Flavoured cheese with added non-particulate flavouring:
Smoked Gouda (Ivanhoe) ON
Naturally Smoked Boerenkaas (Natural Pastures Cheese Company) BC
Medium Gouda Smoked (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB

• Flavoured cheese with added particulate solids and flavouring
Gouda Herbs and Garlic (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB
Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese with salsa flavour (Ivanhoe) ON
Dofino Jalapeño Havarti (Arla Foods Inc.) ON

• Mild Cheddar
Cheddar Doux Biologique (Fomagerie L’Ancêtre inc.) QC
Mild Cheddar (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON
Mild Cheddar (The Black River Cheese Company Ltd.) ON

• Medium Cheddar
Medium Cheddar (The Black River Cheese Company Ltd.) ON
Medium Cheddar (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON
Cheddar moyen Biologique (Fromagerie L’Ancêtre inc.) QC

• Old, Extra Old Cheddar
Cheddar 1 an (Fromagerie Perron) QC
Naturally aged old Cheddar (Maple Dale Cheese) ON
Le Jersey du Fjord (Bergeries du Fjord) QC

• Aged Cheddar (1-3 years)
Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (Cows Creamery) PEI
Extra Old Cheddar (Cows Creamery) PEI
Cheddar extra old (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON

• Aged Cheddar (4 years +)
Cheddar 5 years (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON
Cheddar Doyen 4 ans (Fromagerie Perron) QC
Cheddar aged 8 years (Maple Dale Cheese) ON

• Farmhouse cheese
Louis d’Or (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC
Le Mont-Jacob (Fromagerie Blackburn) QC
Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC

• Organic cheese
Baluchon (Fromagerie FX Pichet) QC
Louis d’Or (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC
Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC


Rosemary Mantini has always loved words. When she isn't working as the Associate Editor at Tidings Magazine, she's helping others achieve their writing dreams, and sometimes she even relaxes with a good book and a glass of wine.

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