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 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.
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.
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.
Here the cheeses have been removed from their molds (forms) and are soaking in brine.
Spruce boards drying before heading to the salle d'affinage. It's the spruce boards that give the cheese that distinctive rustic woodsy aroma.
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.
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