2013/12/05

Perle

Perle is a cute semi-soft, bloomy rind, organic goat milk cheese from Domaine de Courval located in Waterville in the Estrie region of Québec.

Domaine de Courval

Domaine de Courval is operated by couple Raynald Hébert and Laurie Goodhart. Before settling in Waterville, Québec in 2007 this couple had already perfected their cheesemaking skills at Nettle Meadow, one of the first micro-dairies in the state of New York.

Organic goat milk products from Domaine de Courval

Domaine de Courval is one of the few certified organic goat-milk farms in Québec. This artisanal Fromagerie creates delicate, fresh and aged goat cheeses. They produce five different flavours of fresh goat cheese and cream cheese and two types of refined goat cheese; Kunik a sumptuous triple cream and Perle.

Perle

Perle is a small 70 g (2.5 oz) little chèvre measuring approximately 5 cm (2") in diameter and 4 cm (1.25") in height. It has a pearl-white coloured bloomy rind and a cream coloured semi-soft paste. The white mold rind is firm yet melds well with the slightly tangy, creamy, pure goat milk flavoured paste with lingering hints of mushroom. Perle is an excellent introduction to the world of goat cheese.


2013/11/29

Harbison

Harbison is a beautiful soft paste, bloomy rind, bark-wrapped cheese from Jasper Hill Farm located in Greensboro in Northeast Vermont.

Harbison cheese by Jasper Hill Farm

Harbison is a small cheese wheel measuring approximately 10 cm (4") in diameter, 3 cm (1.25") in height and 340 g (12 oz.) in weight. This lovely little gem is held together with a band of spruce bark that is collected in the woodlands on the farms property.

Jasper Hill Farm is operated by brothers Mateo and Andy Kehler who also operate Cellars at Jasper Hill. Cellars’ is a state of the art network of underground vaults, calibrated with distinct temperature and humidity levels accommodating various cheese styles. Cellars at Jasper Hill was designed to help neighbouring farms to compete as artisanal cheese makers and succeed in today’s marketplace. 

Harbison cheese is made with pasteurised cow milk from Ayrshire cows. Ayrshire milk is perfectly suited for cheesemaking. The high fat and protein content and the way in which they breakdown, is perfect in the development of an excellent cheese.

Ayrshire cows at Jasper Hill Farm

This delicate cheese has a slight woodsy mushroom aroma with a lovely fresh, herbaceous, sweet creamy taste. When this cheese is ripe, the soft oozing paste is perfect to be spooned out onto a baguette. Or eat it like a fondue, simply leave the whole cheese in the bark and cut back the top rind and scoop out the cheese. Harbison cheese is very similar to the much sought-after seasonal French Vacherin Mont d'Or and Switzerland's Mont d'Or.

Jasper Hill Farm also produce Bayley Hazen Blue, Alpha Tolman a burly Alpine-style cheese, Moses Sleeper, Willoughby and the American Cheese Society’s 2013 Best of Show winner Winnimere, which is a raw milk, larger version of Harbison.

Harbison pairs nicely with a well-balanced, full-bodied, white Gewürztraminer.

Check out this informative video on the making of Harbison cheese.



2013/11/20

LAMUZGUEULE - Mister B

LAMUZGUEULE

LAMUZGUEULE is a live Electro swing band from Grenoble, France. Lamuzgueule mixes swing, balkan and electro beats with narative and ironic french lyrics. Lamuzgueule's Mister B electro-swing style track is very bubbly, fun and contagious.

Mister B is taken from their album "Radio bérets & Disco zina". The album is composed and mixed with the help of 3 DJs: Dimaa, Tactical Groove Orbit, and Atom.

LAMUZGUEULE - Mister B (feat. Dimaa)

  

2013/11/13

Morbier

Morbier is a raw cow-milk, semi-firm, washed-rind cheese with a distinctive vein of ash across the middle of the paste.
Morbier

Morbier cheese is named after a small commune in the Massif du Jura in Franche-Comté in eastern France. Today both Jura and Doubs versions of the Morbier benefit from an AOC (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée).
Morbier cheese dates back to the 19th century when it was originally made for personal consumption by cheesemakers of the French cheese Comté. The cheesemakers would use some of their leftover fresh curd after making their massive 100 lbs. wheels of Comté. They would sprinkle soot over the leftover curd as it rested overnight at the bottom of a barrel to keep insects away and to prevent a rind from forming until the next morning when more leftover pieces of cheese were put on top to complete what is Morbier cheese. A cheese that can be consumed in 45 days but an affinage of two months is more usual. Today the dark vein in Le Morbier made of vegetable ash is only decorative yet respectful to its origin. 

Montbeliard breed of cow
The milk used in the production of an AOC Morbier cheese must come exclusively from French Simmental and Montbeliard breeds of cow. Production may be artisanal, fermier, coopérative or industriel.
French Simmental breed of cow
Morbier is made in the shape of a large disc with bulging sides. The wheel measures approx. 40 cm (16") in diameter and 8 cm (3") in height, weighing about 9 kg (20 lbs.). The ivory-yellow uncooked, pressed, semi-soft paste with small holes is pliant. Although the golden brown washed rind has a pungent aroma, the cheese is relatively mild with hints of fruit and grass. Morbier melts beautifully, try it in your next raclette.
Morbier pairs nicely with Pinot Noir, Gewurztraminer or a white Jura wine.

2013/10/31

P'tit Sainte Maure

The Fromagerie Poitou Chèvre  who produce the P'tit Sainte Maure is located in the small sixth century village of Mothe Saint Héray, situated along the Sèvre River in the heart of southern Poitou, in the west of France.

La Laiterie Coopérative de la Mothe

In 1897 the local farmers of the area got together to create a cooperative dairy they called La Laiterie Coopérative de la Mothe. During the twentieth century, the dairy specialized in cheese production, especially in the production of goat cheese.
In 1996, the Fromagerie Poitou Chèvre took over the management of the dairy and focused on the traditional manufacturing of goat cheese like the Chabichou du Poitou and Mothais sur Feuille.

Goats from Poitou

The P'tit Sainte Maure is one of the newest additions of cheese produced at the Fromagerie Poitou Chèvre. It is a small version of the classic goat cheese Sainte Maure. It is a 170 g (6 ounce) log-shaped pasteurised goat milk cheese.

P'tit Sainte Maure

P'tit Sainte Maure is made with either an ash covered mouldy rind or a cream coloured bloomy ripened rind with a lovely soft white paste. The P'tit Sainte Maure cheese has a buttery and smooth texture with a nutty and slight tart flavour emerging from the edible rind.

The P'tit Sainte Maure pairs nicely with many white wines such as a Sauvignon Blanc or a Sancerre.

2013/09/20

Grant Lazlo - Alabama


'Alabama' by Grant Lazlo is taken from the compilation Electro Blues Vol. 1 on Freshly Squeezed Music. Electro Blues Vol. 1 features a great selection of 24 Electronic Jazz, Blues and Electo-Swing tracks that work perfectly to bring the old with the new. This double CD features tracks from Swing Republic, John Lee Hooker, Moby, Big Moma Thornton and more. Worth checking out!

'Alabama' by French producer Grant Lazlo (AKA 'Lazlo') is a perfect blend of the use of electronic beats with blues. It has great blues vocals, harmonica and even a bit of scratching.

This is a short sampling of Grant Lazlo's track. You can't help but want to move your feet'n'booty listening to this bouncy new refashioned vintage sound.

To listen to more of Grant Lazlo tracks, mixes and remixes, check out: https://soundcloud.com/grantlazlo

2013/09/13

Cheez-Elle's Tomato Cheddar Pie

After reading Fromage Homage Cheese,Please! Challenge I was stimulated to enter her September's Challenge - Cheddar. Not only in England, but also here in Canada "we're practically weaned on cheddar cheese". I just love a good sharp cheddar. Did I have a Cheddar recipe in mind? Sure, that wasn't the dilemma, what better time of year, when tomatoes are aplenty to make a Tomato Cheddar Pie.

Tomato Cheddar Pie

Now the harder choice to make, was which Cheddar would I use for my Tomato Cheddar Pie? Would I use my favourite Quebec sharp cheddar standby; Île-aux-Grues 2 year old Cheddar?  Or would I use the delicious Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar from Mariposa Dairy in Lindsay, Ontario? Instead I selected to use the prized Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from COWS Creamery in Charlottetown, PEI. Avonlea Cheddar is an exquisite farmstead type cheddar with a wonderful creamy, earthy, tangy flavour. This is exactly the perfect blend I wanted for my Tomato Cheddar Pie that is delicious and very simple to make.

Cheez-Elle's Tomato Cheddar Pie
Serves 4

Tomato Cheddar Pie ingredients
Ingredients:
1 large onion
1 Tablespoon oil
1 to 2 teaspoons mustard
1 pinch of basil
1 cup of grated cheddar cheese
2 tomatoes
1 clove of garlic
1 unbaked 8 or 9 inch pie shell

Instructions:
- Slice your onion in rings
- Heat the oil in a frying pan
- Sauté the onion with basil and mustard
- Place this mixture in the bottom of unbaked pie shell
- Slice the tomatoes into slices and place on a paper towel and pat dry
- Cover the onion preparation that is in the pie plate with the grated cheddar cheese
- Top with the tomato slices
- Sprinkle a pinch of basil, salt, pepper to taste
- Sprinkle the pie with small pieces of garlic
- Bake at 350 F. for about 20 minutes
This is quite a versatile pie. You can easily substitute mustard with pesto, which is quite plentiful in my kitchen this time of year. Or if you want to use gruyère or any other cheese you have on hand instead of cheddar, it always turns out yummy.

Here are two other great cheddar cheese recipes you might want to try: Apple Cheddar Soup, SharpCheddar Zucchini Bread

Have a Cheddar recipe in mind? Want to take part in September’s Cheese, Please! Recipe Blog Challenge? Check out the full rules here.

Fromage Homage

2013/09/05

L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi


 Olivier Ducharme de la Fromagerie Du Charme

L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi is an artisanal sheep-milk blue cheese fabricated by Fromagerie Du Charme located in Saint-Rémi-de-Tingwick in the Appalachian mountain area in the Centre-du-Québec region. Young entrepreneur Olivier Ducharme has recently acquired the Fromagerie from what was formerly Bergerie Jeannine 
L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi during affinage
L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi is a lovely blue-veined cheese made from thermized sheep-milk cheese. It is produced in a small cylindrical 1.5 KG wheel that is distinguished by its blue aluminum foil covering.
L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi

L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi has a white, crumbly yet creamy texture, with lovely veins of blue-green mold. The overall flavour sensation starts off slightly mild, then a sweet fruity taste, ending with a moderately sharp tang. 

What I like about L'Étoile Bleue is that even though it is made from sheep milk like the world renowned Roquefort blue cheeses, it is not as salty.

L'Étoile Bleue could be a great addition to any salad. It pairs nicely with a dry white Jurançon.

Fromagerie Du Charme is currently producing two excellent cheeses made from ewes milk, from recipes that he has retained from the former owners; L'Étoile Bleue de Saint-Rémi and Le Friesian. They also produce two new cow-milk cheeses; Hermann and La Tablée.

Photo sources:
www.lanouvelle.net
virtuel.lesactualites.canoe.ca

2013/08/30

Deep-Dive-Corp. - Summertime

Deep-Dive-Corp. was formed in 1999 in Hamburg, Germany. Deep-Dive-Corp. consists of Björn Gerhard and the driving force of the group, guitarist Peter Musebrink. To this date they have released 6 albums under the moniker Deep-Dive-Corp.

As well as recording under the names of Box of Frox, P.M.FM and Ibiphonic they have also remixed various tracks.
Deep-Dive-Corp. - Summertime EP

Deep-Dive-Corp - Summetime featuring vocals by Sarah Walker was released on their first album entitled Support Your Local Groover in 2000. It was also released as an EP titled Summertime.
“Summertime” is a George Gershwin 1935 classic which was composed for the musical Porgy and Bess.
Deep Dive Corp. has transformed this song into the ultimate jazzy ‘Summertime’ tune. Although the original album version is unavailable on video, here is the Sweat Mix which is a more down-tempo rendition. 


2013/08/28

Pionnier

What happens when two of Quebec's finest cheesemakers collaborate to fabricate a new cheese? You get, what I believe to be one of Canada's greatest cheese; Pionnier.

Pionnier

Pionnier is a firm, washed rind, cooked paste cheese, made from a blend of raw cow and sheep milks. The large 40 KG wheels which are aged for 10 to 12 months are branded with a muslin label integrated in the crust.
The history of the Pionnier is explained on the muslin label; "C’EST ELLE, C’EST LUI, C’EST EUX", which translates to "It's Her, It's Him, It's THEM". She is Marie-Chantal Houde from Fromagerie Nouvelle-France (maker of Zacharie Cloutier winner of the 2011 Sélection Caseus Gold & 2013 Bronze), he is Jean Morin from Fromagerie du Presbytère (maker of Louis-D'Or winner of the 2012 Sélection Caseus Émérite and Bleu d'Elizabeth winner of the 2013 Sélection Caseus Gold and 2013 Émérite award). They have put their hands and heads together to create the Pionnier another award winning cheese (2013 Sélection Caseus Bronze & a special award for Best Raw Milk Cheese).

Pionnier cheese wheel

The Pionnier has a lovely honey coloured paste that is rich and creamy. Pionnier has a strong fruity, buttery and hazelnut flavor, with a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness, followed by a complex lasting aftertaste. This artisanal mountain style cheese reminds me of the French Savoie cheeses; Abondance and Beaufort d'Alpage.
Remember, Pionnier is an artisanal cheese and is produced in limited editions. If you get your hands on a piece, savour it.  The Pionnier pairs nicely with a white Chardonnay de Chablis or a Merlot de Savoie.

2013/08/01

Burrata

Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. Burrata is usually made from  buffalo milk but it is also made from cow milk or a combination of both milks. The success of Burrata cheese is huge right now, not only in Italy but here in Montreal it is very much in demand.
Burrata
Burrata was first made in the early 1900s on the Bianchini farm in the town of Andria in the region of Puglia in southern Italy. The ingenuity of these cheesemakers began producing Burrata as a natural consequence of the typical peasant culture and accustomed to little waste and the reuse of any surplus. They decided to mix the residues from the processing of the cheese dough with the cream and wrap it all in a casing which is also made of spun paste.
Burrata is formed into a pouch made from spun curd which contains a soft heart of cream called 'panna' and is filled with ritagli ( the 'scraps' or 'rags') of mozzarella, wrapped with leaves of asphodel, a local herb which grows in the wild in the area of Andria and gives an aromatic and tangy note to the cheese.
The Burrata I selected is produced by Cilento S.P.A. a cheese factory located in Cellole in the region of Campania in southern Italy. The Cilento family have been operating for more than a generation in the dairy sector, dedicated exclusively to the production of the Mozzarella di Bufala Campana DOP (Protected Designation of Origin).
Burrata with tomatoes, olive oil and ground pepper
Enjoy the sweet milky buttery taste of Burrata in simple dishes and also in very elaborate meals. Burrata can be enjoyed simply accompanied by a green salad or served with ripe juicy red tomatoes, olive oil and ground black pepper.  A delightful rich cheese that pairs nicely with a Castel del Monte, a dry, medium-bodied chardonnay from the Puglia region of Italy.
Here is a great video put out by the Culinary Institute of America on the making of Burrata: Puglia's Molten Mozzarella.

2013/07/26

Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real - Don't Take Me Back


Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real is an American rock group based out of Venice, California.
The group consists of Lukas Nelson (son of Willie Nelson) who is lead vocalist & guitarist and Promise of the Real members; Anthony Logerfo (drummer), Tato Melgar (percussionist) and Merlyn Kelly (bass).
Don't Take Me Back is reflective of Lukas Nelson's usual style; honest and direct, a song that captures a strong feeling and tie to a powerful melody. This live version was recorded at the Vilar Performing Arts Center in Avon, Colorado on October 23, 2011.

Don't Take Me Back and a fine selection of other guitar based rock tracks appear on the album Wasted.

2013/07/11

Le Maréchal

Le Maréchal

Le Maréchal is a firm raw cow's milk cheese produced by Fromagerie De Granges in the Vaud region of Switzerland.

Artisan cheesemaker Jean-Michel Rapin from Granges-Marnand in Broye started making Le Maréchal in 1992. The cheese is named after his grandfather Emile Rapin who was a blacksmith-farrier, which is called a maréchal-ferrant in French. A large picture of his grandfather which reflects his original and robust character is on the label of every wheel of Le Maréchal.

The cheesemaker and a team of local dairy farmers that supply the milk to make Le Maréchal, are bound by an agreement they created to guarantee good quality milk in a production process that looks after the cows and nature in general and guarantee an original, creamy tasting cheese.

Le Maréchal is a robust mountain style cheese similar to Gruyere but the wheels are much smaller weighing 6 kg. It is aged for 130 days. During the ripening process the rind is hand-rubbed with aromatic herbs.

Le Maréchal cheese

Le Maréchal has a dry brown rind that is flecked with herbs. The firm cooked pressed paste has a beautiful golden colour which is smooth and solid with few holes. It has a nutty and herbal aroma.

Le Maréchal has a melt in your mouth texture and a rich, nutty flavour with sweet tones of butterscotch and berries.

Pairs nicely with figs and a glass of dry white wine or a Beaujolais.

www.le-marechal.ch/


Photo source : www.lake-geneva-region.ch

2013/07/05

Ibores


Ibores is a firm raw goat-milk cheese from the ruggedly beautiful region of Extremadura in the province of Cáceres in the southwest part of Spain.
Ibores cheese has a Denomination of Origin protection; it is made exclusively from whole, raw milk from goats of the Serrana, Verata, Retinta breeds and their crossbreeds. Ibores cheese is matured a minimum of 60 days, some wheels labeled 'Artisanal" are aged at least 100 days.
Ibores comes in a small 1.2 kg (2 lbs.) flat cylindrical wheel measuring 15 cm (6") across and approximately 9 cm (3.5") high. It has a striking orange-ochre colour rind that has been rubbed with pimentón (paprika) and a dense ivory colour paste with a few small crevices.

Ibores goat-milk cheese
Ibores has a buttery and moist texture with a pleasant creamy taste on the palate. Ibores is slightly acidic and a moderately piquant flavour with a lovely goat-milk lingering tangy finish.
Ibores pairs nicely with an oaky flavoured Spanish red wine from Rioja.

2013/06/26

Fromagerie La Station De Compton

It seems like I have been away for a long time. My apologies for the delay in updating my blog but it is gardening season and I can't help but take every free time I can to work outdoors and attend to my garden.
I've also been on a lovely road trip with my sister Pauline and my mom through very scenic regions of Quebec; the Centre du Quebec and the lovely Eastern Townships in the southeast of Quebec.
One of the most memorable stops of my holiday was a visit at one of Quebec's finest cheesemakers the Fromagerie La Station located in the quaint village of Compton near Lake Massawippi in Memphrémagog County.
Fromagerie La Station De Compton
Fromagerie La Station de Compton make excellent farmstead cheeses, all made of raw milk from a heard of dairy cows raised in an organic farming environment. The family farm and cheese factory is owned and operated by Pierre Bolduc and his wife Carole and their three sons; Simon-Pierre, Vincent and Martin who all play important roles in the management and fabrication of their award winning artisanal cheeses.

Holstein cows at the Fromagerie La Station farm

Driving up to the farm we are greeted by a herd of Holstein cows that seem very happy to be out grazing on the fresh green grass in this beautiful scenic countryside.

At the Fromagerie's cheese shop we are warmly greeted by co-proprietor Carole Routhier who graciously accepted to give us a wonderful guided tour of their family operation.

Cheese making at the Fromagerie La Station
One of the first steps of cheese making; the warm morning organic cow milk is brought in and then coagulated and stirred.


The curded milk is then pumped out of the vat into cheesecloth where the whey can continue to drain before the cheese is placed into their molds.
Wheels of cheese soaking in brine
Here the cheeses have been removed from their molds (forms) and are soaking in brine.
Spruce boards used during affinage of the cheese
Spruce boards drying before heading to the salle d'affinage. It's the spruce boards that give the cheese that distinctive rustic woodsy aroma.
During affinage cheese wheels are being brushed

In the affinage room, the cheese wheels are brushed with salt and the wheels are turned.


The longest process of cheese-making is the affinage, where the wheels are left to age to achieve that specific distinctive flavour. The affinage time varies for each of the Fromagerie La Station cheeses; La Raclette de Compton and Comtomme take 90 days, Chemin Hatley is aged 3 months, Comtomme Signature is aged for 4 to 5 months and Alfred Le Fermier is aged 8 months and some wheels up to 24 months.
It's lunch time and at the Fromagerie La Station cheese shop people line up to feast on their delicious grilled cheese sandwiches.
Fromagerie La Station de Compton cheese shop
If you are at all in the Eastern Townships region this summer I strongly recommend a trip to Compton to visit one of Quebec's finest cheesemakers the Fromagerie La Station.

Call ahead if you would like to book a guided tour.

Fromagerie La Station
440 Hatley Road (route 208)
Compton, QC J0B 1L0
Tél.: 819 835-5301

2013/06/03

Le Chevrot

Le Chevrot is an exquisite goat-milk cheese made in France's Vallée de La Loire.
Le Chevrot

Le Chevrot is produced by Sèvre et Belle, a small co-op created and run by people in the village of Celles-sur-Belle in the Poitou-Charentes region in western France. Through the 100 years Sèvre et Belle have been making goat cheese, they has remained faithful to tradition while constantly adapting to advances in technology. 

Le Chevrot is a small 5 cm (2") high 200 g (7 oz) goat-milk cheese that is produced in both raw and pasteurised milk versions. This chèvre is a "living" cheese, meaning the cheese continues to ripen when it is kept refrigerated at a temperature of 4-6°C.  When Le Chevrot is young it is soft, creamy and mild then as the cheese matures it becomes dryer and firmer and the characteristic goat taste is increased to perfection. A younger Chevrot pairs nicely with white wine and a more mature Chevrot is well appreciated with a bolder red.

Sèvre et Belle dairy also produces award winning barrel-churned butter and other goat milk cheeses among them Cabridoux and Le Chèvre d'Or.

2013/05/17

Grace Jones

HAPPY BIRTHDAY GRACE JONES!
This weekend Grace Jones will be celebrating her 65th birthday.

Grace Jones

I've been a big fan of Grace Jones for many years. Grace's striking appearance, her unique look, her signature stylised vocals and her music are all reasons that to this day she remains my all-time favourite recording artist. READ MORE

Enjoy this video of one of my favourite tunes by Grace Jones; “I've Seen That Face Before (Libertango)”. 


2013/05/09

Brendan O'Carroll - Mrs. Brown's Boys

Brendan O'Carroll is an Irish writer, producer, comedian, actor and director; he was born in Finglas, a suburb of Dublin. 

Brendan O'Carroll has been a popular comedian in Ireland since the early 1990's, he is best known for portraying the foul-mouthed Irish mother Agnes Brown in Mrs. Brown's Boys.
 
Brendan O'Carroll - Mrs Brown's Boys
 
Mrs. Brown's Boys is an award winning BBC sitcom created by and starring Brendan O'Carroll. The show is based on O'Carroll's character he created for an Irish radio series he did in 1992 before using the character for his stage plays which were developed from books and straight to DVD films.

Mrs. Brown's Boys is about an 'Irish mammy' who refuses to cut the apron strings from her six grown-up children who are all adults but she treats them as if they are five. As well as having to deal with her children, she has her hands full dealing with her best friend Winnie, the elderly Grandad and various friends and family members.

Agnes Brown is an outspoken woman never at a loss for words. Here is an outrageously funny exert from Mrs. Brown's Boys staring Brendan O'Carroll as Mrs. Brown.

 
 

Viola

Viola Sororia

Viola sororia is a species of Violaceae, a genus of flowering plants belonging to the Violet family. 

Viola sororia

Viola sororia, known as the Common Blue Violet, is a stem-less herbaceous hardy perennial plant that is native to eastern North America. It is known by a number of common names including; Common Meadow Violet, Purple Violet, Woolly Blue Violet, Hooded Violet and Wood Violet.

Violets grows easily in all types of soils and are a good choice for a shady or woodland garden or if you are looking for a quick natural look to a garden. Violets can be aggressive and easily invade lawns, but are an excellent choice for a ground cover. This is a very early flowering violet; it blooms from April to June.

Viola sororia have heart-shaped, scalloped dark green leaves and pretty blue violet flowers that droop from slender stems. The plant propagates on horizontal runners that root every 3 to 5 inches.

Viola flower

Violets are the host plants for Fritillary butterflies. Like many other butterflies, their caterpillars are very selective about what they eat. They do not go for milkweeds as do monarchs; they prefer violets instead. Without violets, there would be no more of those pretty orange and black speckled butterflies.

As well as being used as a common garden plant, Viola sororia has historically been used for food and folk medicine. The flowers picked in early spring when newly opened can be eaten raw in salads or crystallized and used to decorate cakes. The viola flowers can be taken fresh or dried in an infusion to help coughs and bronchitis and also used for soothing nerves, headaches and insomnia.  Herbalists claim that an infusion of dried leaves or dried roots of the viola can alleviate catarrh and bronchitis.

2013/05/08

Pico

Pico is a lovely pasteurized goat-milk cheese manufactured and refined in Périgord in the Aquitaine region of south-west France.
 
Pico de Périgord

Pico is a small 100 g (3.5 oz) chèvre that comes in its own cute little round wooden box. It is an uncooked, unpressed soft cheese with an elegant creased natural rind that smells of fresh hay. The soft paste and rind are cream coloured with slight golden streaks. 
Pico has a fine and smooth texture, a rich creamy buttery nutty flavour with a subtle goat tang. Pico pairs nicely with a fruity champagne or a sparkling wine.

Pico is produced by Fromagerie la Picandine in Saint-Astier. Picandine have been making fresh and refined goat-milk cheeses since 1990, among them the famous Cabécou du Périgord.

2013/04/26

Chemin Hatley

Chemin Hatley is a firm organic cheese made by Fromagerie La Station de Compton located in Québec's Eastern Townships.

Chemin Hatley

Chemin Hatley is named after the road that stagecoaches used to travel on between Québec and Boston. La Station's farm and cheese factory are located along this Hatley Road located in Compton in Southeastern Québec.

This farmstead cheese comes in a 4 KG wheel which is ripened for 3 months and made with organic thermised cow-milk. The pressed semi-cooked paste is cream-coloured with a rather smooth elastic texture that features small crevices. Chemin Hatley has an orangey coloured rind and a distinct floral aroma.

Chemin Hatley has a creamy buttery texture with a moderate fruity aftertaste. Chemin Hatley pairs well with a fresh aromatic white wine from Bordeaux.
 
Holstein cattle from La Station de Compton

Fromagerie La Station de Compton is operated by Pierre Bolduc with his wife Carole and their sons. Their certified organic farm produces award winning farmstead cheeses such as Alfred Le Fermier, one of my favourite Quebec raw milk firm cheese, their popular Raclette de Compton as well as Comtomme.