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Competition celebrates Canada’s big cheeses

Dairy Farmers of Canada announces the Champions of its Cheese Grand Prix


Montreal, Que. – The Dairy Farmers of Canada yesterday announced the winners of the 7th Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.

In February, at the Institut de tourisme et d’hôtellerie du Québec, jury members observed, touched, smelled and tasted 203 cheeses from six different provinces.

The seven-member jury selected the 17 category Champions, as well as the 2011 Grand Champion, which were announced at a Gala of Champions in Toronto.

The competition rewards cheese makers for excellence in innovation and the quality of their products.

This year’s winners showcase the world-class cheeses being produced across Canada and the level of excellence of the art of cheese making.

Champions

Here are the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Champions:

Grand Champion: Louis D’or, a 40-kg cheese wheel, from La Fromagerie du Presbytère in Ste-Élizabeth-de-Warwick, Qué. The cheese has fine, complex flavours, eloquently expressed after nine months of ripening.

Fresh Cheese: Mascarpone Tre Stelle from Arla Foods Inc. of Ontario. Tre Stelle Mascarpone is a rich, fresh triple-crème that is a relative of both cream cheese and Ricotta cheese.

Soft cheese with bloomy rind: Island Bries from Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Ltd. of B.C. Its creamy texture, velvety white rind and mushroom overtones go beautifully with something slightly sweet.

Semi-soft cheese: Lankaaster Traditional gouda from Glengarry Fine Cheese of Ontario. The Lankaaster is a hard cheese shaped as a loaf because it’s meant to be sliced and eaten directly on bread as the Dutch farmers do. Aged two to four months, categorized as mild or medium.

Washed-rind – Soft and semi-soft cheese: Le Mont-Jacob from Fromagerie Blackburn of Quebec. The Mont-Jacob, a semi-soft surface-ripened cheese, derives its unique personality from its delicate aroma and fruity, nutty flavour.

Firm cheese: Louis D’or from Fromagerie du Presbytère of Quebec.

Swiss-type cheese: Fromage Suisse Lemaire from Fromagerie Lemaire of Quebec. A firm Swiss-type cheese with a milky, nutty aroma and a slightly sweet, subtle almond flavour.

Mozzarella: Bocconcini Santa Lucia from International Cheese Co. Ltd. of Ontario. A pretty Italian name meaning “little bites” that describes perfectly these delicious egg-size balls, which have a delicate milky and creamy aroma, and a mild and very light buttery taste.

Blue Cheese: Le Bleu d’Élizabeth from Fromagerie du Presbytère of Quebec. An organic, veined, semi-soft farmhouse cheese made with raw milk. With a natural crust dotted with ocre-coloured spots, this cheese contains beautiful bluish veins, sometimes with a slightly green tint due to the presence of Penicilllum Roqueforti. Balanced salty taste.

Flavoured cheese with added non-particulate flavouring: Naturally Smoked Boerenkass from Natural Pastures Company of B.C. The cheese is rich tasting and semi-hard, known for its slightly zippy taste.

Flavoured cheese with added particulate solids flavouring: Gouda Herbs & Garlic from Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd. of Alberta. Mild Gouda with flavourful herbs and garlic.

Mild Cheddar: Mild Cheddar from The Black River Cheese Company Ltd. of Ontario. This cheese has a buttery, nutty flavour that gets stronger with age. Salty, slightly sweet and fruity taste. Firm, smooth and somewhat elastic texture.

Medium Cheddar: Cheddar moyen Biologique from Fromagerie L’Ancêtre of Quebec. Certified organic, this medium cream-yellow Cheddar is firm, smooth and slightly elastic. It has a mild, milky flavour. Lactose free.

Old, Extra Old Cheddar: Le Jersey du Fjord from Bergeries du Fjord of Quebec. Cheshire-type farmhouse cheese aged at least 10 months.

Aged Cheddar (one to three years): Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from Cows Creamery of P.E.I. It’s Canada’s only clothbound Cheddar. It is aged just over a year, but the cloth allows the cheese to breathe and in that short time it develops a sharp and earthy flavour.

Aged Cheddar (four+ years): Cheddar Doyen 4 ans from Fromagerie Perron of Quebec. A firm cheese with a nutty flavour that intensifies over time. The Perron Cheddar is an authentic product from the Quebec soil. It is aged over long periods, which vary from nine months to four years.

Farmhouse cheese: Louis D’or from Fromagerie du Presbytère of Quebec.

Organic cheese: Louis D’or from Fromagerie du Presbytère of Quebec.