Fromage 101.


Cheese is definitely the “vogue” food right now says Kathy Guidi of Artisan Cheese marketing.

Cheese has come back in style for all kinds of entertaining. It is easy to artistically arrange, takes less time to obtain, and requires no time to cook.

After a multi-course dinner, a few selected cheeses presented with nuts, dried fruits and assorted English biscuits complete the meal.

Up to a decade ago, Canadian diaries produced humdrum cheeses mostly marketed by multi nationals, except maybe in Quebec.

Few restaurateurs knew how to select and serve cheese properly (I have been served cold processed cheese slices on a cheese platter to finish a bottle of wine in a supposedly fine restaurant in Toronto!)

Much of the cheese (49 per cent) Canadians consume comes from Quebec, the rest originate in Ontario, British Columbia, Alberta and eastern Provinces.

If the federal government had followed more enlightened milk and cheese policies, he industry would have advanced much faster and undoubtedly would have been able to innovate more imaginatively.

Quebec’s government has wisely followed enlightened polices and producers have been able to innovate. Today, Quebec’s artisanal cheese makers rank number one in Canada, and compete successfully with the best anywhere.

Religious communities were the pioneers of cheese making in Quebec, when it was still called New France. In 1893, Brother Alphonse Juin, a Benedictine monk in Oka, invented Oka, the cheese. It is essentially a copy of St Paulin from France. Anotehr divinely inspired cheese, the blue-veined Bleu Benedictine comes from the Abbey of St Benoit du Lac, where it was invented in 1943.

Here are some of the fine cheeses of Canada:

Quebec; Aura, Beendictine, D’Iberville, Peron Cheddar, Louis Riel, Oka, Tome, Wabassee, St. Andfre, Triple Cream.

Ontario: Balderson Championship Cheddar and Five Year Old balderson heritage Chjeddar, Montasio.

International cheeses: Cambozola (Germany): Camembert and Brie (France), Gouda, Edam (The Netherlands); Stilton, Chaerphilly (England); Emmethaler, Gruyere (Switzerland); Tetilla, Manchego (Spain), Gorgonzola, Parmigiano Reggiano (Italy); and Feta (Greece)

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