Artisan cheese is gaining popularity in Canada. Though still a very small market, it’s rapidly growing. Read this article to discover some of the best artisan cheeses in Canada and the cheesemakers that create them. Canadian cheesemakers use more sterile ageing methods than those in Europe, which creates different flavours and textures.
Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese
Gunn’s Hill is a small but thriving cheese company. Set up in the 1960s. With a passion for cheesemaking, the owner studied the art of handcrafting cheese in the Swiss Alps and applies these methods in his dairy. Oxford’s Harvest is similar to Mutchli, a Swiss cheese. It’s a washed-rind cheese that’s aged on cedar wood for 6 weeks. The flavour is mild and creamy with a buttery taste. There is also a version with added cumin seeds to give a spicy flavour, as well one with garlic and tomato seasoning.
Brigid’s Brie is a wonderful soft surface-ripened cheese with a creamy center. As it’s free from preservatives, there is a limited time it can be kept. It’s aged for 6 weeks and recommended you enjoy this cheese either on its own or with red pepper jelly.
Mariposa Dairy Artisan Cheeses
Mariposa Dairy started out as a farmstead in Victoria and then moved to Lindsay in Ontario. All of their luxury goat and sheep cheeses are made “celebrity style.” The award-winning Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar is made using a low temperature pasteurized milk. After the curds have been pressed, they’re wrapped in cloth bandages to preserve the flavour.
This cheese is aged for a minimum of one year before being finally approved by the cheesemaker. Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar has a sweet, fruity flavour with light earthy notes. It’s classed as a mild to medium cheese.
Plain Chèvre is Mariposa’s classic goat’s cheese. You can either get the plain version or try one of the delicious “celebrity style” versions. Blueberry and cinnamon chèvre is made by rolling the cheese in a mix of blueberries dusted with cinnamon. You get a wonderful blend of flavours, combining the sharpness of goats cheese with the sweetness of blueberries, and warmth of cinnamon.
Glengarry Fine Cheese
Glengarry Fine Cheese is a small artisan cheesemaking company based in South Glengarry. The owners have a true passion for the craft and have developed a mouth-watering range of cheeses. If you like soft cheeses, you may enjoy The Figaro. This cheese takes its inspiration from the Champagne region in France. It has a mild, milky taste when young, but changes to a more intense flavour after being aged for 6 weeks. The Figaro has a texture more like that of goats cheese than cheese made from cows milk. It’s aged for 3 weeks and can be kept for up to 8 weeks.
Fromagerie La Station
Fromagerie La Station is an artisan cheesemaking farm based in Compton. Hatley Road Cheese is made with low heat pasteurized milk and aged for 3 months. All cows are fed on fresh pastures that include a variety of grasses. This gives the cheese a sweet, fruity flavour with floral notes.
Curé-Hébert cheese is a surface-ripened soft cheese. Inspired by the monks of Oka, it has a creamy, buttery taste with a hint of almonds.