This month cheese club feature one Ontario cheese maker, Quality Cheese and two Québec cheese makers, La Fromagerie Montebello and la Fromagerie Rang 9.
QUALITY CHEESE, Vaughan, Ontario
The team at Quality Cheese represents the fourth generation in a family tradition of cheese-making. The company’s president, Almerigo Borgo Sr. emigrated from Italy more than 45 years ago and his sons, including Bill Borgo, a certified cheese maker, are carrying on his legacy. They use the freshest milk and ingredients, pay attention to every detail, and use the best practices and techniques that allows them to make great cheese.
Bella Casara Buffalo Mozeralla
- Type of milk: Pasteurized Water Buffalo milk
- Texture: Fresh/soft
This mozzarella is made with local water buffalo milk that is picked up daily. The richness of the buffalo milk allows the cheesemaker to make the most beautiful, supple and brilliant fresh mozzarella.
This buffalo mozzarella is smooth, round, glossy and porcelain white. The texture is tender and springy, but retains suppleness. There is a full, buttery finish. More delicate in flavour and texture than cow’s milk mozzarella, buffalo mozzarella is sweet and tangy with notes of clover and earth. Essentially this delicate cheese is just a holding vessel to showcase the fresh, sweet and silky milk of the water buffalo.
The buffalo mozzarella pairs well with a cream ale. If you prefer a white wine, try a Riesling or a rosé. As for red wine, try a fruity, light Valpolicella. For us, the best pairing for this cheese are fresh heirloom tomatoes and basil from our garden, drizzled with a high quality olive oil that has a buttery, mild flavor and a nice balance of fruit and peppery finish. Serve it on or with a fresh baguette. Oh my, this is to die for!
FROMAGERIE MONTEBELLO, Montebello, Québec
The Fromagerie Montebello emerged from the dream of Alain Boyer and Guy Boucher. Alain is the cheese maker while Guy, a trained accountant, looks over the financial side of the business. Montebello was a village that used to belong to the land of the Petite-Nation Seigneury. In 1817, Louis-Joseph Papineau, an influential political figure of Lower-Canada in the 1800’s, superintended this Seigneury. Alain and Guy named the cheese factory and their cheeses, in keeping with the history of Montebello and the Petite-Nation.
Tête à Papineau
- Type of milk: pasteurized cow’s milk
- Texture: Semi-Soft
Its name comes from the well-known Quebec expression, “Ça prend pas la tête à Papineau,” which roughly means, “You don’t have to be Papineau.” Louis-Joseph Papineau was seen as a man of great intelligence. He was a gifted orator, and the public hung onto his every word. Papineau’s manor in Montebello, which he had built in 1850, is featured on the packaging.
Beneath its slightly orange-coloured rind with a fine white bloom lies a soft interior. La Tête à Papineau offers a lovely creamy texture with a mild flavour and herbal notes.
Choose a lighter white wine that is simple, fruity and has a refreshing quality of a Chardonnay to pair with la Tête à Papineau. As for red wine, a Pinot noir would be a perfect match. Beer lovers may pair this cheese with the St-Ambroise Apricot Wheat Ale that offers wonderful natural apricot flavour, and is subtly sweet in taste.
FROMAGERIE RANG 9, Plessisville, Québec
La Fromagerie Rang 9 is an artisan cheese dairy founded in the early 1990s by the Dubois family. The family has been organic farming for two generations and was keen to focus on making cheese with milk they produced on the farm. The Dubois family has lived and breathed the Appalachian Mountains for over 7 generations. The Plessisville region provides the ideal climate for growing forage crops, which produces both dairy cows and milk of exceptional quality.
- Type of milk: cow’s milk
- Texture: Semi-Soft
Its name, Le Champaître, as well as its square shape, woody interior and wild flower aroma are all designed to pay tribute to local pastures. This lactose-free semi-soft washed-rind cheese is made from pasteurized milk from selected dairy farms in the Plessisville region.
This cheese is washed and rubbed on pine boards, the square wheel has a slightly humid, golden-yellow rind. The butter-yellow interior is homogenous, with a supple and nicely elastic texture. The cheese has a woodland mushroom aroma with hints of pine and wild flowers and a taste of hazelnut and butter.
Le Champaître is a great match with medium bodied fruity red wines such Apothic Red. It also pairs nicely with a Chardonnay, would be a good match. Slightly sweet beers are the way to go.