This month we are featuring 3 Québec cheeses, From La fromagerie La Suisse Normande a great goat cheese named Le Chevronné, La Belle Mère of la Fromagerie Médard and, from la Fromagerie L’Isles-aux -Grues.
Fromagerie La Suisse Normande, St-Roch de l’Achigan, 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 their little corner of the world by way of their cheese. Suisse Normande is also a region of Normandy that resembles parts of Switzerland. The cheese production is done on the premises, directly across the street from their goat farm.
- Le Chevronné
- Type of milk: pasteurized goat’s milk
- Texture: Soft
The delicate caprine notes of this cheese are fresh and subtle. Le Chevronné is a soft farm cheese that has a smooth, melt-in-your-mouth creamy white paste that becomes increasingly runny over time. This Tomme Vaudoise-style soft cheese with a thin bloomy rind, has a mild milky, grassy and aromatic taste of fresh mushroom with a gentle tang which makes it a veritable delight eaten as is or cooked. For example, it may be lightly pan fried and placed on top of a salad or a cracker.
Le Chevronné would pair well with white wines with a touch of spritz. Try a Rose such or a Sauvignon Blanc. If you prefer red wine, try a Carménère Beer lovers may want to pair this cheese with a Belgian beer like the Charlevoix Dominus Vobiscum Lupulus.
Fromagerie Médard, St-Gédéon, Lac St-Jean, Québec
The story begins in the 19th century when Élise takes possession of 100 acres of public land at Saint-Gédéon, Lac-Saint-Jean. The authorities gave this acreage to mothers and fathers of twelve or more living children with the objective to clear the forest and develop the region. Normand Côté and Madeleine Boivin have owned this farm since 1986. They use only the milk from their herd of Brown Swiss cows for cheese production. Normand’s daughter, Rose-Alice, the cheesemaker, is part of the sixth generation to commit itself to the family enterprise.
- Belle-mère (Mother-in-law)
- Type of milk: pasteurized cow milk
- Texture: Semi-firm
- Award: 2012 Selection Caseus Category winner (semi-soft cow milk)
The Belle-Mère has mouth-watering aromas of roasted almond and honey with butter notes. Its creamy and full-flavoured flesh has a slight taste of hazelnut.
The Belle-Mère would pair well with red wines that are full-bodied with an intense colouring and a powerful, complex taste of fruit and spice aromas such as certain Malbec or Cabernet Sauvignon. If you choose a white wine, try a fruity Alsacian wine such as a Riesling. If pairing this cheese with beer, pick a lighter or medium-bodied beer.
Fromagerie L’Isle-aux-Grues, Isle-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’Ïsle-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: unpasteurized cow’s milk
- Texture: Firm
- Awards and distinctions: In 2017, this cheese won Best Canadian Cheese at the World Cheese Awards.
Le Canotier de l’Ile has been aged for 1 year. 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. Le Canotier de L’Isle’s flavours are characterized by the exceptional local soil of the island and the salt air.
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 Merlot-Cabernet VQA or a blend such as Apothic Red are also a good match. When choosing a beer go for a medium-bodied Red Ale.