This month the members of the Cheese Club will savour three wonderful cheeses from different regions of Québec: Saint-Roch-Ouest, Qc, Le Sabot de Blanchette; Compton, Qc, le Comtomme; and Ile-aux-Grues, Qc the Cheddar Medium.
Cheese Club – March 2017
Fromagerie La Suisse Normande, Saint-Roch-Ouest, Québec
Since we discovered this Fromagerie, we can’t get enough! So far all their cheeses have proved to be of great quality and taste. The cheese production is done on the premises directly across the street from their goat farm and the cow’s milk comes from La Ferme L’Achigan next door.
Le Sabot de Blanchette
- Type of milk: Pasteurized goat’s milk
- Texture: Soft
- Awards and Distinctions: 2016 CANADIAN CHEESE AWARDS Category Winner – Bloomy Rind Cheese
This farm goat cheese can be recognized by its beautiful pyramid shape covered with a natural coarse rind. This beautiful pyramid shaped natural rind goat milk cheese is always a winner. The shape of the cheese is like the goat’s hoof, hence its name Sabot De Blanchette.
It has a soft, velvety creamy texture that melts in the mouth. Its wonderful taste develops into an explosive finale. It has a slight tart taste, followed by a salty flavor which turns to a nutty sweetness.
Le Sabot de Blanchette pairs well with a dry, delicate white wine like a Borgogne such as the JCB Les Ursulines Bourgogne. When choosing a red wine look for a light Merlot like the Les Jamelles Merlot. When choosing a beer look for a fruity ale such as the Zywiec Beer.
Fromagerie La Station de Compton, Compton Québec
In 2004, in the heart countryside of Compton in Estrie, the Fromagerie de la Station was born. These passionate, fourth generation farmers believe that the quality of the cheese is directly related to the well-being of the animals. The warm milk is collected every morning and used to create organic farmers’ cheeses.
- Type of milk: non-pasteurized cow’s milk
- Texture: Semi-soft
- Awards and Distinctions: Finalist in the 2015 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in the “Organic Cheese” category; 2006 and 2009 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Finalist in Washed-Rind Cheese.
The Comtomme cheese is produced directly on the family farm from organic milk and aged for 60 to 90 days on wood boards. It has a copper-coloured washed rind and the interior gives way to a smooth, golden ivory paste.
The Comtomme is a very subtle, refined washed rind cheese. The aroma is fruity and creamy, smelling of apples and butter. Take a bite – the texture is smooth, and melts quickly over the tongue into a thick cream which is not sticky. The flavours are not overwhelming yet they are complex and interesting. The sweet, fruity aromas translate into the nice flavour that makes the cheese perfect for featuring on cheese boards, or for eating as a snack.
This cheese would partner well with a Cabernet Merlot such as Inniskillin Cabernet. If you prefer white wine, choose a well balanced fruity Sauvignon Blanc like the Nederburg The Winemaster’s Sauvignon Blanc. Comtomme prefers a less hoppy beer. This sophisticated cheese partners with a Wellington Special Pale Ale.
FROMAGERIE L’ILE-AUX-GRUES Ile-aux-Grues, Québec
Another Fromagerie that we love. They are the producers of Riopelle de L’Ile, Canotier de l’Ile and a wonderful young cheddar, and also aged cheddars. 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.
- Type of milk: thermalized cow’s milk
- Texture: Firm
- Awards and distinctions: 2016 British Empire Cheese Show 3rd prize winner, Medium White Cheddar Cheese class. 2015 and 2014 Sélection Caseus finalist, Best Cheddar Cheese class. 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards 1st prize winner, Best Mild & Medium Cheddar Cheese class.
This firm, rindless cheese is made with thermized milk drawn exclusively from the dairy farms on the island. That proximity allows the cheese to preserve the premium aromatic qualities of the milk, as well as the subtle flavours that are unique to Île-aux-Grues.
This firm pressed cheese has a creamy yellow colour and a smooth texture. It has a mild and milky aroma and a hazelnut flavour. Aged for six months, the medium Cheddar has a smooth texture and a slightly tart, but mild taste.
When pairing this cheddar look for fruity white wine like the Albert Bichot Chablis or a Sauvignon blanc. A medium bodied and fruity red like the La Mascota Cabernet Sauvignon or a blend such as Apothic Red are also good matches. This cheddar is best paired with Pilsners like the Pilsner Urquell, or an IPA such as the Propeller IPA. You could also try this cheese with apple cider or Ice wine.