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Inaugural Canadian Cheese Awards celebrates Canadian cheese

The Great Canadian Cheese Festival held the first ever Canadian Cheese Awards and announced the winners


Guelph, Ont. and Toronto – The news is out. La Baluchon has been named Cheese of the Year.

The recognition comes courtesy of a new competition called the Canadian Cheese Awards/Le Concours des fromages fins canadiens.

And the timing of the event is perfect. As more imported European cheeses are about to arrive in Canada as a result of the Canada-E.U. free-trade deal, it’s time to recognize and promote our own cheeses.

The competition was organized by The Great Canadian Cheese Festival. Judging on the technical aspects and aesthetics took place in February at the University of Guelph’s Department of Food Science. Dr. Arthur Hill, chair and professor of Food Science, headed the evaluation. The winners were announced in April in Toronto.

The event is open to federal and provincial licensed cheese producers who use pure milk from Canadian cows, goats, sheep and water buffalo with no artificial colours, flavours or preservatives, and no modified milk ingredients.

Seventy-six producers from Newfoundland to B.C. submitted 291 cheeses for judging.

The awards aims to create a recognized symbol of excellence for all Canadian cheese and offer expert feedback to producers who submit entries by providing them with evaluation reports prepared by the judges.

The awards are scheduled for every two years and will take place in Montreal in 2016 and in Vancouver in 2018.

The Cheese of the Year winner, La Baluchon, is made at the Fromagerie FX Pichet in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Que. The company will receive support for a marketing campaign to promote its being named the best cheese in Canada.

But there were more champions. Here is a list of all the winners.

BEST FRESH CHEESE
Bella Casara Mascarpone
Quality Cheese,
Vaughan, Ont.

BEST SEMI-SOFT CHEESE
Le Baluchon
Fromagerie FX Pichet,
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Qué.

BEST FETA/CHEESE IN BRINE
Goat Milk Feta
Crystal Springs Cheese,
Lethbridge County, Alta.

BEST FIRM CHEESE
Eweda Cru
Best Baa Dairy,
Fergus, Ont.

BEST FIRM CHEESE WITH HOLES
Louis d’Or
Fromagerie du Presbytère,
Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Warwick, Qué.

BEST WASHED RIND CHEESE
La Meule des Champs
Fromagerie Éco-Délices,
Plessisville, Qué.

BEST MIXED RIND CHEESE
Rang des îles
Fromagerie Médard,
Saint-Gédéon, Qué.

BEST SOFT CHEESE/BLOOMY RIND CHEESE
Magie de Madawaska
Fromagerie Le Détour,
Temiscouata Sur Le Lac, Qué.

BEST FLAVOURED CHEESE
Raclette de Compton au Poivre
Fromagerie La Station,
Compton, Qué.

BEST SMOKED CHEESE
Natural Smoked Gouda

Sylvan Star Cheese,
Red Deer, Alta.

BEST MILD/MEDIUM CHEDDAR
(aged up to 9 months)
Cheddar Île-aux-grues
S.C.A, Isle-aux-Grues
L’Isle-aux-Grues, Qué.

BEST OLD CHEDDAR
(aged from 9 months to 1 year)
COWS CREAMERY Extra Old Cheddar
COWS CREAMERY,
Charlottetown, P.E.I.

BEST AGED CHEDDAR
(aged 1 to 3 years)
Farm House Traditional Clothbound Cheddar
The Farm House Natural Cheeses,
Agassiz, B.C.

BEST AGED CHEDDAR
(aged 4 years and more)
Agropur Grand Cheddar 5 ans
Agropur,
Saint-Hubert, Qué.

BEST GOUDA CHEESE
Golden Blyth
Blyth Farm Cheese,
Blyth, Ont.

BEST BLUE CHEESE
Dragon’s Breath Blue
That Dutchman’s Farm,
Economy, N.S.

SPECIAL AWARDS:
 

BEST COW’S MILK CHEESE
Bella Casara Mascarpone
Quality Cheese,
Vaughan, Ont.

BEST GOAT’S MILK CHEESE
Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve by Celebrity Lindsay Bandaged Cheddar
Mariposa Dairy,
Lindsay, Ont.

BEST SHEEP’S MILK CHEESE
Lenberg Farms Reserve by Celebrity Tania Sheep Cheese
Mariposa Dairy,
Lindsay, Ont.

BEST WATER BUFFALO CHEESE
Buffalo Paneer
Natural Pastures Cheese,
Courtenay, B.C.

BEST BLENDED-MILK CHEESE
Le Verdict d’Alexina
Fromagerie Le Détour,
Temiscouata Sur Le Lac, Qué.

BEST FARMSTEAD CHEESE
Plain Soft Goat Cheese
Noble Meadows Farm,
Nobleford, Alta.

BEST ORGANIC CHEEESE
Le Baluchon
Fromagerie FX Pichet,
Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Qué.

BEST RAW-MILK CHEESE
Louis d’Or
Fromagerie du Presbytère,
Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Warwick, Qué.

BEST NEW CHEESE
Fontina Fumé
Fromagerie de l’Abbaye Saint-Benoît-du-Lac,
Saint-Benoît-du-Lac, Qué.

REGIONAL AWARDS:

BEST BRITISH COLUMBIA CHEESE
Farm House Traditional Clothbound Cheddar
The Farm House Natural Cheeses,
Agassiz, B.C.

BEST ALBERTA CHEESE
Natural Smoked Gouda
Sylvan Star Cheese,
Red Deer, Alta.

BEST ONTARIO CHEESE
Bella Casara Mascarpone
Quality Cheese,
Vaughan, Ont.

BEST QUEBEC CHEESE
Louis d’Or
Fromagerie du Presbytère,
Sainte-Élisabeth-de-Warwick, Qué.

BEST ATLANTIC CANADA CHEESE
COWS CREAMERY Extra Old Cheddar
COWS CREAMERY,
Charlottetown, P.E.I.

For more on the competition, visit: www.cheeseawards.ca

Photo: Marie-Claude Harvey of Fromagerie FX Pichet holds the award for Cheese of the Year.


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