Cheese Club – February 2017
This month cheese club members will savour three yummy cheeses from different regions of Québec. Le Biquerond de Lanaudière fom Saint-Roch-Ouest, La Tête Dure from Noyan and Le Canotier de l’Isle from Ile-aux-Grues, Québec. Enjoy!
Fromagerie La Suisse Normande, Saint-Roch-Ouest, Québec
They named their fromagerie la “Suisse Normande” because Fabienne, the cheese maker, is from Switzerland and Freddy who looks after the farm is from Normandy. They both wanted to share with others their little corner of the world by way of their cheese.
- Le Biqueron de Lanaudière
- Type of milk: Pasteurized goat’s milk
- Texture: Soft
Le Biquerond de Lanaudière is a ripened, log-shaped, goat milk cheese. It is a perfect cheese for a chevre-chaud salad. The cheesemaker prefers to preserve the integrity of the product, so this artisanal cheese may present little spots of blue mold since no product is used to prevent it.
This soft cheese, has a beautifully textured natural rind covering a smooth soft paste and delicately perfumed notes with a subtle nutty goaty flavour and crisp finish.
Le Biqueron de Lanaudière pairs well with a Riesling . A Viognier like the Yalumba Y Series Viognier would also work well. If you prefer a red, choose a light-bodied, fruity Beaujolais or a light Merlot. When choosing a beer look for a Light Ale such as the Crow’s Castle from Almonte’s Crooked Mile Brewery.
Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser, Noyan Québec
Fritz Kaiser in Noyan, Quebec, founded the Fritz Kaiser cheese factory in 1981 near the border with the state of New York. Mr. Fritz Kaiser began crafting his cheeses in 1981 according to traditions from his homeland Switzerland.
La Tête Dure
- Type of milk: Pasteurized cow’s milk
- Texture: Semi-soft
- Awards and Distinctions: 2016 Canadian Cheese Awards finalist in 2 categories and 2015 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix finalist in the Washed- or Mixed-rind Semi-soft Cheese category
This semi-soft, washed-rind cheese is made with pasteurized milk. Washing the rind gives it a coppery colour.
The cheese has small holes (eyes) throughout and a mild, milky and fruity aroma as well as a hazelnut and salted butter taste. It is ideal on its own or in a salad, raclette or gratin.
This cheese would partner well with a medium-bodied fruity red wine such as a Shiraz l. If you prefer white wine, choose one that is dry with spice and exotic fruit aromas like a full-bodied and well balanced Chardonnay. La Tête Dure partners perfectly with a full-bodied beer like the Crooked Mile Highland Hillwalker Scottish Export.
FROMAGERIE L’ILE-AUX-GRUES Ile-aux-Grues, Québec
Located 40 minutes east of Québec City, in the middle of the St-Lawrence river, lies a 9 km long island: l’Ïle-aux-Grues. The fromagerie employs a good number of the island’s inhabitants and plays a major role in the economic development of the region. Their primary mission and values reflect their concern to preserve the agricultural heritage and to contribute to the development of the island, by transforming all the milk produced by the cooperative.
Le Canotier de l’Isle
- Type of milk: non-pasteurized thermalized cow’s milk
- Texture: Firm
- Awards and distinctions: finalist at the 2014 Royal Agricultural Winter Fair and the 2014 British Empire Cheese Show, in the surface-ripened cheese category.
Le Canotier de l’Isle is a firm paste cheese ripened on the surface. The island’s first cheese makers in the early 20th century have perfected the ancient recipe and the artisanal method used for making this wonderful cheese. The label is a painting by Robert Gagné of L’Isle-aux-Grues. It depicts the transport of supplies and mail by ice canoe, the only way to cross the river during the winter in the era of the original cheese makers.
Under the delicate rind of ochre shades, the ivory paste reveals the very typical taste of hazelnut, with a pleasant fruity note, and cream. This firm yet creamy cheese has slight notes of nuttiness. Beautifully paired with a white wine and fruit, or enjoyed simply on fresh baguette or on its own.
When pairing le Canotier de l’Isle look for an aromatic and mellow white wine like a Chardonnay or a Pinot Gris . A medium bodied and fruity red like a Cabernet/Merlot or a blend such Apothic Red are also a good match. When choosing a beer we suggest the Crooked Mile Highland Hillwalker Scottish Export. You could also try this cheese with Ice cider or Ice wine.