This Month Cheese Club features 3 Quebec cheeses. Two are from the Lac St-Jean Region, le 14 ARPENTS and VALBERT. The third one, LA MADELAINE is from Racine in the Eastern Township. They are so yummy and perfect for a gathering on the patio.
FROMAGERIE NOUVELLE FRANCE, RACINE, Québec
In 2010, steeped in the farming tradition inherited from their great grandfather, Jean-Paul and Marie-Chantal Houde, brother and sister in their twenties, decide to become associates to create the Nouvelle France sheep farm and fromagerie. Marie-Chantal is the cheesemaker, while Jean-Paul take care of the sheep and the 250 acres of farm land.
- Type of milk: Pasteurized sheep’s milk
- Texture: Soft
- Awards and distinctions: 2017 American Cheese Society Competition, Category winner, 2016 Selection Caseus, Caseus Argent Category winner – sheep milk cheese, bloomy rind.
We consider this crowd-pleaser as one of those little luxuries of life. It is soft, oozy and sinful. La Madelaine is a surface ripened sheep milk cheese with a moist, delicate bloomy rind. Inside, you will find a runny pearly colored paste bursts with a sweet flavor of grass, dry hay, and sweet milk, with light mushroomy aromas.
La Madelaine pairs well with a Pinot Gris. If you prefer a red, choose a light-body, fruity Côtes du Rhone. When choosing a beer look for a fruity Blonde Ale .
FROMAGERIE MÉDARD, St-Gédéon, Québec
This is a story of 6 generations! The story begins in the 19th century when Élise took possession of 100 acres of public land at Saint-Gédéon, Lac-Saint-Jean. At that time, land was give to mothers and fathers of twelve or more living children. The objective: clear the forest and develop the region. Norman Côté is the fifth generation of the Côté family and current owner of the fromagerie. His daughter, Rose-Alice, the cheese maker, is part of the sixth generation to commit itself to the family enterprise.
- Type of milk: Pasteurized cow’s milk
- Texture: Soft
- Awards and distinctions: Sélection CASEUS winner in the Soft Cheese with Washed, Mixed or Natural Rind category and Canadian Cheese Grand Prix finalist in the Washed- or Mixed-rind Soft Cheese category, 2015. Finalist in 2014 at the Canadian Cheese Awards in the best Soft Cheese / Bloomy Rind Cheese category.
14 Arpents is full of flavour, has a slight taste of hazelnut and has a lingering taste of butter with a hint of vegetable and nuts that becomes stronger with age.
This cheese pairs well with Pinot Grigio. A light- bodied Pinot Noir offering notes of berry fruit and vanilla would also be a good companion for this cheese. A Lager beer would also pair well with 14 Arpents.
FROMAGERIE LEHMANN, Hébertville, Québec
Marie and Jacob Lehmann, passionate about agriculture, arrive in the Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean region in 1983. With three of their children, Sem, Isaban and Léa, share they created the Fromagerie Lehmann in 2001. They use the milk of their Brown Swiss cow, a breed known for its ability to turn grass and hay in to rich creamy milk.
- Type of milk: Thermalized cow’s milk
- Texture: Firm
- Awards and Distinctions: 2006 Selection Caseus Winner: Category washed rind cheese Silver Caseus, Caseus Emerite
This cheese is aged for six months, which gives it a golden, sometimes copper-coloured rind. It has a smooth texture, and offers the delicate aromas of cream. Its flavour is reminiscent of hazelnuts and warm butter.
This cheese will pair well with a Merlot . A Chardonnay is certainly good choices. When pairing it with a beer, we suggest a pale ale.