Reg Hendrickson, Cheese Adventurer
Our resident expert, Reg Hendrickson, is a tireless cheese adventurer, criss-crossing the country for well-kept cheese secrets.
Reg is a thorough man, roaming this great land of ours and leaving no cheese mould unturned in his search for the lesser-known jewels of the Canadian cheesemaking crown. Regular reports of his latest finds will grace this site. In this article, he travels the highways and byways and finds yet more reasons why Canadian cheeses are yours to discover from coast to coast.
Eastern Canada Wonders
Port Williams, N.S.
From seed to grass to milk to cheese to YOU, is how Fox Hill Cheese describes the process of making this lovely cheese from their herd of 50 Holstein cows. They started making Gouda, Cheddar and Havarti utilizing only the milk from this herd. They later added yogurt and ice cream to their dairy products line-up. As for many other small producers, the local farmers market is their lifeline and customers there kept asking them to provide Feta. Ultimately, they created a Feta that is sharp and salty, much to the liking of their numerous patrons.
Savour with salads, pizza, pasta or wherever you like that extra bold flavour.
Jennifer from Scotsburn filled us in on the background of this company. The production plant for their Cottage cheese was originally known as Amherst Creamy, which became Brookfield Dairy Products until Scotsburn Co-operative purchased it in 1972. It is the only Cottage cheese produced in Atlantic Canada. They produce six delicious varieties: creamed (4%), low fat (2% and 1%), fat free with added calcium, Lasagna style (curds are a smaller size), and the newest, the reduced sodium 1% (50% less than their other 1% cheese). There is a Cottage cheese to suit everyone’s palate or healthy eating preference. It is an excellent natural source of protein.
Savour by using low fat varieties in cheesecakes, with salad and with fruit.
Caramelized Onion cheese
The mention of Don and Bill’s newest tasty morsel sets my taste buds tingling. Picture, if you will, nuggets of creamy white curds enrobed with a coating of golden brown caramelized onions. The combination of white Cheddar with golden caramelized onion compote, crafted in-house, is what creates this unique look. Not to be outdone by the visual impact, the flavour is equally stunning, a mouth-watering combination of sweet onion and young, milky Cheddar.
Savour by using in a broiled cheese sandwich, as a topping for your favourite burger or in thin slices on a Panini sandwich.
Mozzarella Fior’ di Latte
Producing unique Italian cheeses for almost 50 years is quite an accomplishment and testament to the quality of this cheese company. Mozzarella Fior’ di Latte, a whole milk cheese, is one of their outstanding cheeses. What sets it apart from any other Mozzarella is the taste. It is mild and delicate, with a slight hint of tingle on the tongue. As a true Fior’ di Latte, you can see the milk settle out of the curd when it is cut. The fresher the cheese, the more elastic and springy is the curd. As the cheese ages, the curd will become softer.
Savour by substituting for Bocconcini in salads, pizza or on an appetizer plate.
Pacific Pepper Verdelait
“Make it hotter” was the frequent request from customers of the popular Cracked Pepper Verdelait. Natural Pastures rose to the challenge by creating Pacific Pepper Verdelait. Adding locally grown Paper Lantern Habanera pepper to this popular cheese meant customers were rewarded with the “sassy” hot cheese they were looking for. Paul Sutter, a skilled cheese master, managed to perfect the balance between the heat of the pepper and milk of the cheese. Check out all their exquisite flavoured cheeses like Leek and Garlic, Wasabi and, of course, the Cracked Pepper.
Savour by melting on your favourite barbecue burger or chicken breast.
Love of Raclette initiated this family’s quest to make cheese in 2001. Raclette was a mainstay on Friday evenings during their extended stay in Switzerland and obviously Nancy and Clark decided it had to be part of their production in Parksville. Raclette is a washed rind cheese with a lovely milky taste and hints of nut and sweet. As a washed rind cheese, it will have a slight aroma. Traditionally, it is melted under a special grill or broiler, then poured over tender boiled potatoes and consumed while the next piece is melting, thus making it part of a very social and relaxed evening with friends.
Savour by serving on boiled potatoes or on a fresh crusty baguette with a simple salad of fresh greens.