2015/01/15

Curé-Hébert

Curé-Hébert is an award-winning, raw cow-milk, semi-soft, washed rind, farmstead cheese from Québec's Lac-St-Jean area.

Stéphane Tremblay of Fromagerie L'Autre Versant with Ayrshire cows

Curé-Hébert cheese is produced by Fromagerie L'Autre Versant owned and operated by husband and wife team Stéphane Tremblay and Chantale Lalancette. This young couple are the 6th generation of Tremblay's who have been farming on this heritage farm located in Hébertville, Québec.

Curé-Hébert cheese is named after the priest Nicolas Hébert-Tolentin, who founded Hébertville in 1849 where their own ancestors had come to establish themselves.

Curé-Hébert cheese label

Curé-Hébert cheese is made from the milk of the farm's own herd of Ayrshire cows. Curé-Hébert has an orange-brownish coloured washed-rind that is partially covered with a fine white duvet dusting. The soft velvety paste has a light yellow hue the colour of creamed butter and is slightly dotted with small holes and a texture that is unctuous, creamy and melts in the mouth.  Curé-Hébert has a sweet aroma of butter, cream and mushroom with sweet notes of honey or caramel. Curé-Hébert which is matured for a minimum of 60 days offers flavours that will vary from mild to more pronounced depending on its degree of maturity. Curé-Hébert tastes of butter, cream, mushrooms with lingering notes of roasted nuts and seeds.

Curé-Hébert cheese

Curé-Hébert cheese pairs nicely with a fruity medium bodied red wine such as Gamay from France or an Australian Grenache. Curé-Hébert is lovely with a Québec ice cider or a tawny port from Portugal.

The Fromagerie L'Autre Versant also offers fresh non-homogenized whole cows-milk, plus they produce fresh cheese curds, cheddar and two other farmstead cheeses made with raw cow-milk; Le Cru du Canton a firm pressed-paste cheese and Le Tremblay a lovely small soft-paste mixed-rind cheese.

Fromagerie L'Autre Versant is one of a dozen or so cheese producers still making raw-milk cheeses in Quebec today.



2014/12/30

Detectorists

Detectorists


Detectorists, is a quirky British comedy-drama TV series about two friends who share this passion for metal detecting.

Written, directed and co-starring Mackenzie Crook (who played the detestable Gareth Keenan in The Office) now playing the character of Andy. Along with his wise-cracking friend Lance, excellently played by Toby Jones (Marvellous, Infamous) the two spend their days plodding through fields, hoping to find their fortune with a couple of metal detectors.

Through the six episodes series you are introduced to an amusing cast of characters who are also drawn to this curious hobby. Detectorists, is well written with clever humour and enjoyably charming.

Here is a short preview of Episode One that ran on BBC Four.



http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/detectorists

2014/11/28

BellaVitano

BellaVitano is an award winning, firm, pasteurised cow-milk cheese produced by Sartori Cheese located in Plymouth, Wisconsin.

BellaVitano cheese

BellaVitano is an Italian style cheese that combines the rich and creamy flavour of cheddar cheese with the tasty, fruity, nutty flavour and the gritty texture of parmesan.

Sartori Cheese is a fourth-generation family owned and operated company that's been in operation since 1939. Sartori Cheese produces various Italian style cheese; from a classic Parmesan, Fontina, Asiago, Romano and their award-winning line of Sartori Reserve Bellavitano cheeses.

Sartori Cheese

The Sartori Reserve BellaVitano artisan cheeses include a spellbinding lineup of BellaVitano cheeses that have been skillfully combined with various flavours. Sartori's Master Cheesemakers have perfectly combined a diversified selection of rich, fruity, Old World flavors with the original texture, creamy with the crystalline crunch of the BellaVitano.

The award-winning line of Sartori Reserve BellaVitano artisan cheeses includes; Balsamic BellaVitano, Black Pepper BellaVitano, Chai BellaVitano, Espresso BellaVitano, BellaVitano Gold, Merlot BellaVitano, Raspberry BellaVitano and their latest limited edition addition, the Cognac BellaVitano. 

Regardless of whether you prefer the spiciness of Chai, the berry and plum notes of Merlot, the tart Raspberry ale, fresh roasted Espresso, BellaVitano is a cheese that pleases everybody.

BellaVitano pairs well with Chardonnay, Merlot or Pinot Noir wines.



2014/11/07

Le Chèvre Noir

Le Chèvre Noir

Le Chèvre Noir is an excellent pasteurized goat-milk cheddar that was created by cheesemaker Louise Lefebvre in 1988 for Fromagerie Tournevent in Chesterville, Quebec. It was introduced to the market as an aged cheddar in 1989. Fromagerie Tournevant, a goat dairy was started in 1976 by Lucie Chartier and René Marceau. The Fromagerie Tournevent has been operated under Damafro for the past several years; they in turn have recently been acquired by the Agropur cooperative.

Le Chèvre Noir goat-milk cheddar

What distinguishes this cheddar Le Chèvre Noir at first glance is the beautiful snow-white colour of its paste that is emphasized by the contrast of its outer black wax coating. It has a firm and crumbly texture just like real aged cheddar with its crunchy protein crystals. Chevre Noir has a sharp taste with a bit of tang, but it is balanced out by the creamy texture of the cheese. Chevre Noir reveals many flavours; butter, nuts and a wonderful lingering finish of caramel with a pinch of salt.

Le Chèvre Noir is produced in different size formats and also available in different stages of aging from 1, 2 or 3 years. My favourite version of Chèvre Noir has been aged for 3 years; I find it has just that extra little bit of zing.

Like all aged cheddars, Chevre Noir should be served rather cool. Long exposure to dry air causes its fat to evacuate to the edges. Le Chèvre Noir is ideal served with fruits and nuts accompanied with a full-bodied white, a rich red wine, a Port or premium beer.


2014/10/16

Le 1608

Le 1608 is a cooked, pressed paste, surface ripened, semi-firm cheese made with thermized cow milk produced by La Laiterie Charlevoix in Baie-Saint-Paul, Québec. Le 1608 was launched in 2008 in honour of Quebec City's 400th anniversary; hence the name 1608, the year Samuel de Champlain founded Quebec City. 

 Le 1608

Le 1608 is made exclusively with the milk of the "Canadienne" cow. This breed of cow is unique to Canada; it owes its origin to bovine imported from France between 1608 and 1660. The natural and ongoing inbreeding led to a new breed of cow called the "Canadienne", the only dairy breed developed in North America. Unfortunately, during the 20th century this breed of cow was gradually replaced by the Holstein. Of the estimated 500,000 head herd in 1900, less than 500 of the "Canadienne" cow remain today.

Canadienne breed of cows

Le 1608 is fabricated in a large 8 kg (17.5 lbs.) wheel, measuring about 35 cm (14 in) in diameter and (3.5 in.) in height and aged for 2 to 6 months. 1608 has a strong barnyard aroma; it has a slightly sticky pinkish-orange coloured rind with a yellowish coloured paste. The milk from the Canadienne cow has higher butterfat content, resulting to the yellow colour in the paste. 1608 has a smooth and creamy melt-in-the-mouth texture with a pleasant fruity, buttery flavour with lingering hints of apples and nuts. 1608 is a great choice for grilled-cheese, raclette and fondue since it melts very well. 1608 pairs well with a fruity medium bodied white wine or rosé or try it with a Québec sparkling cider.

Laiterie Charlevoix

The Laiterie Charlevoix was founded in 1948 by Stanislas Labbé and Elmina Fortin in Baie-St-Paul. For many years the Laiterie Charlevoix was almost exclusively devoted to the production of cheddar cheese. But the new generation of the Labbé family; brothers Jean, Paul, Bruno and Dominique have added some fine award winning cheese to the Laiterie Charlevoix's repertoire; Le Fleurmier (a soft bloomy rind), L'Origine de Charlevoix (a soft washed-rind 'Reblochon' type cheese), L'Hercule de Charlevoix (a firm cooked paste aged cheese) and Le 1608.

Le 1608 and L'Origine de Charlevoix cheese produced at the Laiterie de Charlevoix as well as the Tomme des Demoiselles and Pied de Vent produced by the Fromagerie du Pied-de-Vent in the Magdalen Islands, are the only four cheeses currently being made with 100% from the milk of the "Canadienne" breed of cow. These four cheeses will soon be the first to receive an AS (Appellation de Spécificité) which is a Designation of Specificity issued by Quebec's CARTV (Conseil des appellations réservées et des termes valorisants).


2014/09/18

Beaufort d'Alpage

Haute-Savoie production area of Beaufort cheese
Beaufort d'Alpage is an alpine cheese from the Rhone-Alps region of France. The production area of the Beaufort covers the high mountains of Savoie in the three valleys Beaufortain / Val d'Arly, Tarentaise and Maurienne.
Tarine and Abondance cows
Beaufort is a very large cooked pressed firm cheese made exclusively with the raw milk of Tarine also called Tarentaise and Abondance breed of cows. These cows are agile and strong and perfectly suited for the rough terrain of the high pastures.

There are three different types of Beaufort; Beaufort, Beaufort d’été (which is a summer Beaufort) and Beaufort Chalet d’Alpage. Beaufort d'Alpage is only a small part of the summer production (about 10,000 wheels). Beaufort d'Alpage must be manufactured using traditional methods, in a mountain chalet that is 1,500 meters minimum above sea level and with the milk of a single herd of cattle. The AOP (Appellation d’Origine Protégée) specifications impose an annual production limit of 5000 liters of milk per cow or a daily production of 16 liters. Keep in mind it takes about 500 litres (130 gallons) of milk to make a Beaufort of 45 kg (99 lb).

Wheels of Beaufort cheese
To make Beaufort, the milk is heated and then the curd is pressed into a beech-wood hoop mold which gives the cheese its distinctive concave shape on the side (heel) of the wheel. A large wheel of Beaufort can measure up to 76 cm (30 in) in diameter and 16 cm (6.3 in) in height. The wheels are aged for a minimum of 5 months to upwards of 12 months in a mountain cellar that maintains a high humidity and cool temperature.

Beaufort cheese
Beaufort d'Alpage is without a doubt one of the finest firm cheeses in the world. It has a wonderful aroma of milk, butter, flowers and honey. A young Beaufort will have a mild, fruity taste while an aged Beaufort has a stronger aroma and more complex flavours that linger on the palate.  The paste of a winter Beaufort has a pale whitish colour while the summer versions have a more yellow paste due to the cows munching on the alpine flowers. The chlorophyll from the grass and carotene from the alpine flowers give the summer cheeses its beautiful colour and grassy and flowery aromas. Beaufort is richer and creamier than other mountain cheeses.

An excellent way to serve Beaufort is with smoked salmon. It pairs nicely with a Chablis or a white Burgundy wine. Beaufort melts well and is a great choice for a cheese fondue. You must try the exquisite Fondue Savoyarde; made with equal parts of 3 cheeses from the Savoie region; Beaufort, Abondance and Tomme de Savoie.


2014/09/04

Taliah

Taliah is a beautiful English-style, cloth-bound cheddar, aged for one year, made from unpasteurized sheep-milk, produced in the Centre-du-Québec region.

The name Taliah comes from the Hebrew origin meaning female lamb.

Taliah - Sheep-milk cheddar

Taliah has a lovely golden butterscotch coloured firm paste with a rustic crystalline texture and a light musty cave smell. Taliah has a natural rind that is covered with cheesecloth. Unlike most cheddars, Taliah has a nutty flavour with a caramel sweetness, not too salty and a lingering robust flavour that is perfectly balanced.

Taliah's complex flavours go perfectly with those ripe crunchy fall apples. It pairs wonderfully with a sparkling cider, brown ale, an oaked Chardonnay or Cabernet Sauvignon.

Taliah cheddar freshly made 
Taliah cloth-bound cheddar aging

The full bodied complex flavours you receive with cloth-bound cheddar is one of the reasons cheesemakers are returning to this old-school method.  The cloth that is applied on the exterior of the wheel allows the cheese to breathe and promotes microbe germination that provides those wonderful flavours to disperse into the cheese. Block cheddars that are either waxed or plastic sealed give a sharper saltier bite unlike the rich complex flavours of cloth-bound cheddars.

Taliah was conceived by Valérie Brousseau and Alastair Mackenzie of Saint-Christophe-d'Arthabaska, which is located at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. They run a farm with pure-bred East-Friesian sheep which provides the milk for the cheese. All their animals; sheep, beef, pork, rabbit, duck and chicken are fed only prime quality food, free of antibiotics, hormones and chemicals. 

East Friesian sheep

They have established a partnership with cheese-maker Olivier Ducharme at Fromagerie Du Charme to produce their cheese. They are currently working together on a Stilton-style blue cheese which should be available soon.


Check out these two cloth-bound cheddars also made here in Canada; The Lindsay Bandaged GoatCheddar and the Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar.

2014/08/20

The First Grader

The First Grader
Based on a true story, The First Grader is about a Kenyan man in his 80's who is determined to learn to read after hearing that the Kenyan government is promising free education for all. The story is about Maruge (beautifully played by Oliver Litondo) an old Mau Mau freedom fighter who fought for the liberation of his country and now feels that he too is entitled of the chance of an education that was denied to him.

The movie takes place in a primary school in a small mountaintop village in Kenya. The school's head teacher Jane (played by Naomie Harris) is quite moved by Maruge's passionate plea and decides to help him to get admitted to the school.

The First Grader is quite a heart-warming, uplifting movie that explores the relationships Maruge develops with the young children at the school. Through this adventure we are taken back 50 years to the dreadful period of British rule in Kenya, when Maruge fought for his country and ended up in extreme and harsh conditions in the British detention camps.


The film is directed by Justin Chadwick (The Other Boleyn Girl, Mandela: Long Walk to Freedom) and written by Emmy-winner Ann Peacock (The Chronicles of Narnia).

The First Grader is an inspiring story of one man's fight for what he believes is his right.



2014/08/12

Brebirousse d’Argental

Brebirousse d’Argental is a soft-ripened, bloomy rind, pasteurised sheep's milk cheese made in the Rhône-Alpes region of France.

Brebirousse d’Argental

Brebirousse d’Argental is an eye-catching cheese, it has a bright orange bloomy rind, which has been tinged with annatto (roucou). The creamy buttery ivory-coloured paste is rich and sweet. Brebirousse is aged one month, but as the cheese matures, nutty, earthy flavours develop into a stronger more complex flavoured cheese.

Brebirousse is available in two different square shaped sizes; a small 125 g and the larger 1 kg format that you will find at your favourite cheese shop.

Brebirousse d’Argental pairs nicely with a Sauvignon Blanc or a more delicate light bodied Pinot Noir.

Brebirousse d’Argental is made exclusively for Fromi Group by Fromagerie Guilloteau which is located south of Lyon along the Loire River in the small town of Pélussin, La Fromagerie Guilloteau also produce Chèvre d’Argental another eye-catching hexagonal shaped goat-milk cheese and the popular Le Fromager d’Affiinois an excellent double-cream cheese.


2014/07/31

Evening Primrose

(Oenothera biennis)

Oenothera biennis is a species of Oenothera, an herbaceous flowering plant native to America which can be found from Newfoundland to Alberta. Common names for the Oenothera biennis include; evening primrose, evening star, suncups and sundrops.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
Oenothera biennis is a biennial (as the name suggests) or short-lived perennial herb producing strong fleshy roots and a basal rosette of lance-shaped leaves in the first year. In the second year, the stems grow and develop beautiful yellow, tubular flowers.

The "evening" in the name relates to the fact that it is a night blooming plant that will produce a succession of short lived blooms from late spring until mid-summer if the dead flowers are removed promptly. The flowers are hermaphrodite, produced on a tall spike and only last until the following day. The flowers open-up visibly fast, every evening producing a lovely spectacle. Their flowers open in the evenings for night flying moths to pollinate them. The Evening Primrose isn't a "primrose," a name best applied to the genus Primula.

The Evening Primrose has eye-catching bright, lemon-yellow, cup-shaped, flowers that measure 2 to 3 inches across and have a mild lemon-scented fragrance. The glossy rich green lance-shaped leaves surround spreading red stems. The seed pods are 4-winged and 2 to 3 inch long and are often used in flower arrangements. It has a spreading growth of 6 to 12 inches in height and 2 to 3 feet wide. The evening primrose is a great plant for borders and rock gardens. It is hardy in zones 5 to 8.
Evening Primrose (Oenothera biennis)
The Evening Primrose prefers to be grown in full sun but will tolerate some light shade in the afternoon.
It is an easy plant to take care of; it spreads enthusiastically and might need control. The evening primrose attracts butterflies and birds.

Evening primrose extracts were used medicinally by both Indians and early settlers. The oil from the seed of the evening primrose plant is a gamma-linolenic acid, which is an omega-6 essential fatty acid. The oil is used to treat skin disorders such as eczema, psoriasis, and acne. Evening Primrose oil is also used for treatment of many ailments among them; rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, premenstrual syndrome, chronic fatigue syndrome. In foods, evening primrose oil is used as a dietary source of essential fatty acids.