27 June 2008

Cheese, Gromit, Cheese...

As a run-up to Mmm...Canada,this week's posts will feature Canadian foods and food products. Today's post features Canadian Cheeses.

For those of you who aren't fully aware...I am part mouse. Yes, I know, I know...I don't look as if I should be a Mousketeer, nor do my dental features particularly resemble a certain Mr. Peter Pettigrew. But I do have a cerain affitinty for cheese.

Okay...When My Darling Michael and I saw
Ratatouille he giggled away ...because (apparently) I get the same look on my face as Rémy did when we found a wonderful flavour combination.

Nothing wrong with that.

Anway...cheese. As I've mentioned a couple of times this month, Canada has a proud cheese-making history, and our cheeses are becoming better known. To celebrate and support cheese manufacturers,
The Dairy Farmers of Canada hold The Canadian Cheese Grand Prix every other year--we have more than 200 cheese manufacturers who make more than 200 types of cheese. You can find more information about the Grand Prix, along with past winners here

I think my love of cheese is genetic. My mum is known as the little mousie at home because well...it's amazing how quickly a large hunkahunka cheesey goodness can disappear if she's in range. As for me, I listed cheese on my
you are what you eat meme response and I try to have several types on the go in my fridge.

I'm lucky in that the swankyfooderie has a pretty decent cheese case. I can go in at any time and explore a new fromaggie treat from many places in Europe or North America. When I realised I'd be doing a post a day featuring Canadian food and food products, I headed over and bought a trio of Canadian cheeses:

Made in Québec, this is a semi-soft, surface ripened washed-rind, cow's milk cheese with a pale, creamy texture. I'll admit that I could instantly tell when the cheese was unwapped...it is a bit whiffy. But the taste was simply lovely--mild and creamy it melts well but slices well, so it could easily find a home on a cheese tray or on a sandwich.

Apologies: I tried looking up some information on this one, but I can't seem to find anything...which makes me wonder if it's from a very small manufacturer or if it's just misnamed. Oh well. This is a mild and very soft, almost melty goat's milk cheese. The cheese itself is snowy white and the thin rind is covered in ash. I could easily see myself using it in a mango or strawberry salad.

Madagascar Green Peppercorn Cheese
There were two things that made me buy this one...first was the green peppercorns. I love the juniper-like taste they have. Second...it was from Manitoba. Don't get me wrong, but I normally see Ontario and Québec cheeses in the cold case so when I saw something from Manitoba, I had to add it to my cart. It was my favourite of the three. The cheese is about as firm as a mozzerella and very mild, letting the peppercorn taste come through. Great for a swanky pizza, melted over chicken, or in a sandwich.

Actually...I prefer cheese on crackers...or with more cheese.

If you are interested in learning more about Canadian cheese, the dairy people have started a
podcast series on cheese. But first go through the landing page...the current campaign is a "duets" concept...it's a scream...but I like cheesey things like that.


Edit: Well...I just found out that the 2008 Grand Prix has been postponed by a year...

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Gigi said...

Thanks for the tutorial on Canadian cheeses. I too love cheese with crackers or on its own with a nice glass of wine.

MyKitchenInHalfCups said...

Now Jasmine don't get me wrong here. I be wild to try each one of those cheeses. They all look grand!
But the bread, Oh goodness it looks fabulous!! What is it?

Ilva said...

In my ignorance I knew nothing about canadian cheese but now I will alway b on the look out, not that I ever expect to find any here in Italy but maybe somewhere else? Anyway, after reading this post I just have to get some cheese!

K and S said...

these cheeses sound delicious, I wish Japan would have more cheese producers, most of our cheese comes from overseas and are now quite pricy.

Anonymous said...

So, your dream vacation would be a cheese tour of Europe? Hey, that's not a bad idea. Cheese hunting weekends! Hmmmmm, the possibilities are endless!

Elizabeth said...

Mmm... cheese.

I love just about every cheese too. I'm particularly fond of Oka from Quebec. And 12 year old Ontario cheddar. And 3 year old Alberta cheddar. And creamy goat's cheese from BC or Ontario. And oozing camembert-style "Serenity" from Ontario. And...


glamah16 said...

Lactose tolereance be damned. I lovemy cheese too. My man calls me 'LITTLE CHEF'.I dont know wheather to insulted or flattered to be called after the cooking rat.

NKP said...

I love cheese too. When hubby and I venture to the Beamsville and Niagara wineries we treat ourselves to decadent cheeses as well. Not too long ago we sampled one called St. Agur. A very creamy blue. We ate it in one sitting with our wine & bread. I recommend it for your list of cheese to try. (We found it at Port Dalhousie's Olson Bakery but I am sure it can be found elsewhere at gourmet cheese shops.)

Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) said...

My very favorite Canadian cheese is Oka. It makes great panini, though we often just eat slice after slice until the whole wedge is gone.

creampuff said...

Oh, I'm a cheese freak too! It's funny because one of my favourite things to do is to go into the cheese shops and just randomly choose a cheese and try it. Love your choices!

jasmine said...

Hello all

Cheese is such a dreamy thing--love the different types.

Lydia: I thought of doing an Oka, but thought since it's pretty well known I'd pick some new-to-me ones...