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Food & WineSay Cheese

Say Cheese

February2016_Page7_Cheese_shutterstock_27441355If you happen to be a cheese lover, then you are in luck. The Ottawa area is blessed with some fantastic cheese shops to feed your passion.

You don't have to look any further than our own backyard for artisan cheese that rivals any around the globe. A few months ago, Glengarry Fine Cheese located in Alexandria (35 minutes from downtown Ottawa) was awarded Best of Show for its Celtic Blue Reserve at the 2015 American Cheese Society Awards. In November at the World Cheese Awards, Prince Edward Island’s Cow’s Creamery won Super Gold in the Vintage Cheddar category for its Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar. To add to this high acclaim, this unique cheddar was named one of the top 16 cheeses in the world.

Like wine and craft beer, not everything that the cheesemaker creates is readily available at your local grocery store. Farm Boy, Whole Foods, Metro and some Loblaw locations all have a decent Canadian cheese selection. Specialty stores like Jacobsons (New Edinburgh), Nicastro’s (Westboro & downtown), Serious Cheese (Kanata) and The Piggy Market (Westboro) have an even greater selection of hard-to-come-by artisan cheeses.

Rather than running around to all these stores, here’s something really handy: you can have cheese delivered. There is a new way to discover artisan cheeses. Subscribe to Savvy Cool Curds artisan cheese-of-the-month club. “It is our way of forging a connection between the dynamic people who make artisan cheeses and the consumers who enjoy them at home,” explains sommelier Vanessa Simmons. Each month a different Canadian cheesemaker is showcased and Simmons curates 4 to 5 different cheeses (between 200 and 250 grams each) in a parcel that is delivered to the subscriber’s home or office. “To add to the enjoyment of each bite of cheese, I share the stories behind the talented, passionate, creative and often eclectic cheesemakers. Each person has an interesting story that makes their cheese even richer.”

“There is no one better suited than Vanessa Simmons to select the best in Canadian cheese to discover each month. Savvy Cool Curds is hands-down a great idea. I see it each year at our festival, consumers want local…they want Canadian.” says Georgs Kolesnikovs, Founder of The Great Canadian Cheese Festival.

The chosen farmstead and artisan cheeses are at their peak ripeness and ready to be simply unwrapped and served. From fresh to washed or aged, made using various milks – cow, goat, sheep and on occasion – buffalo. All told, the parcel will be approximately 1 kilogram of delicious Canadian artisan cheese.

Cheese lovers will be in heaven when their monthly parcel arrives from these cheesemakers: Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese (Ontario), Cow’s Creamery (PEI), Back Forty Artisan Cheese (Ontario), Fromagerie Les Folies Bergères (Quebec), and new on the scene in Prince Edward County Lighthall Vineyards & Dairy (Ontario). And that is just the beginning.

To top it all off, in each issue of the monthly Curd On The Street Magazine, Simmons shares her tasting notes, tips & tricks, along with cheese-laden recipes.

Canadian artisan cheese delivered to your doorstep. Does life get any better than this?

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