Friday, May 27, 2016

Going Coconuts!

It's here!  We have waited patiently and sometimes impatiently for the Canadian summer to hit and it's here!  Thoughts of lazy afternoons poolside or at a cottage...easy meals and our favorite beverage.  And what could be easier than a cheeseboard and a few bottles of your favorite libation?

Today, we are going to put together a selection with a tropical feel.

First up is Brie Coco by Alexis de Portneuf.  To quote their cheesemaker:  “I have two passions: Coconut and brie, happy union… an indulgence for big and small occasions. By adding a tropical touch to this triple cream brie, our master cheese makers will delight even the most demanding gourmet.”  

A bloomy rind, triple cream brie, this has the distinctive creamy texture and nutty, mushroomy flavours of a brie with a hint of coconut..not overwhelming for those of you who aren't crazy about coconut but just a little "Je ne sais quoi" that will have you going back again.  Let's pair this with a new product at C'est Cheese Please!, Tropical Mango Chutney from Yummies in a Jar.

Next on our Tropical-themed cheeseboard, we will put a piece of Stilton Mango and Ginger.  This is always a favorite, the base white Stilton is blended with the sweetness of mango and the spiciness of ginger.  And to finish off this board, a piece of Gorgonzola Cremosa would be perfect.

Be sure to include some nuts and fruit (grapes, blackberries and kiwi would look pretty) And for crackers, we have a new cracker exclusive to C'est Cheese Please!, it looks like an Italian Pizzelli cookie but is a cracker, firm enough to handle the cheese without being overwhelming.  Everything described here is in stock and waiting for you at C'est Cheese Please! 

To finish off, why not pair this board with a lovely sparkling Rose?  Crisp and cold, pretty in pink and you will be dancing around just like the famous Carmen Miranda.  Check out this YouTube link: 

Bon Appetit!

Friday, May 13, 2016

Something Blue for Ewe!

Lanark County is the home of Back Forty Artisan Cheese, the "lab" for Jeff Fenwick, Cheesemaker.  Jeff  and Jenna produce a few cheeses all made from the milk of the sheep on Back Forty Farm.  In the past, Lanark County was known for its textile miles producing woollen goods so it is quite apropos that the area is developing a reputation for another product of sheep, its milk.

Highland Blue is a raw Ewe's milk cheese, unpressed with a bloomy rind.  The bloomy rind is more familiar on a brie or camembert where it imparts a mushroomy taste to the cheese.  Highland Blue has those delicate notes of mushroom along with the piquantness of the blue mold combined with the tangy sheep's milk.  Being an unpressed cheese, the ivory coloured paste is buttery on the palate.  It is an award winner at the Royal Winter Fair.

Try this beautiful, rich cheese with Port or a personal favourite of mine is Cidre Glace from Quebec.  This is a cider made in a similar fashion to Ice Wine.  The apples are allowed to freeze on the trees before being pressed.  Serve Cidre Glace the same way as an Ice Wine, very cold and in a small is the perfect accompaniment for blue cheese.  And this pairing makes a perfect weekend cheeseboard.

Highland Blue is in stock at C'est Cheese Please!

Bon Appettit

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Canadian Cheese Awards

On April 14th, the winners of the Canadian Cheese Awards were announced at a gala held held in Montreal and this year's grand prize was awarded to Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar by Cows Creamery, Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island.  We have carried this cheese since C'est Cheese Please! opened....we loved it then, we love it today!  It is a thermalized milk cheese (the milk is heated but not completely pasteurized) made in a typically British fashion of binding the wheels of cheese with cloth.  This keeps the moisture in the cheese resulting in a creamier aged cheddar.  The unique feature of Avonlea Cheddar is that the cloth that is used to bind the cheese is potato sacking which gives the cheese an earthy taste...the taste of PEI.  This cheese has won many awards internationally and now adds this honour to its pedigree.

There were 31 categories in the 2016 Canadian Cheese Awards.  The Regional Awards were as follows:

Best B.C Cheese - Traditional Clothbound Cheddar, The Farm House Natural Cheeses, BC
Best West Cheese - Natural Smoked Gouda Medium - Sylvan Star Cheese, Alberta
Best Ontario Cheese - Tania (Sheep's Milk) - Lenberg Farms Classic Reserve, Mariposa Dairy, ON
Best Quebec Cheese - Le Pionnier - Fromagerie Nouvelle France, PQ
Best Atlantic Cheese - Cows Creamery Appletree Smoked Cheddar - Cows Creamery, PEI

Currently, there are a number of the cheeses which were on the short list for the awards in stock at C'est Cheese Please! including L'Hercule de Charlevoix, Tania, Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar, Avonlea and Alfred le Fermier to name just a few.  So celebrate our fabulous artisanal cheese makers this weekend!

Bon Appetit!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Golden Blyth Aged

Recently, a new cheese came into my life and oh my,  it has become a new favourite!  Everything about this from the beautiful colouring on the rind, rich in russet and golden hues to the lovely paste, a creamy white so indicative of goat cheese speaks to the care that the cheesemaker, Paul Van Dorps has put into his farmstead cheeses.

The Van Dorps came to Canada in 2000 and began their farming life with sheep.  In 2008, they began the process of becoming cheesemakers and turned their attention to goats.  Today, they produce a selection of goat Gouda which includes a number of flavoured varieties, cumin, jalapeño, nettle but the outstanding one is the Golden Blyth Aged.

I have said many times that age improves EVERYTHING and I stand by that statement and certainly this cheese proves the point!  With a flavour that is rich and assertive that lingers on the palate, this is a perfect cheese to be paired with a red wine.  This is notable because it is often more difficult to pair cheese with the fruity notes of a red but this one does the trick nicely!

At the last Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in 2014, Golden Blyth Aged was the winner in the Gouda category and deservedly so.  

Available at C'est Cheese Please! where you will also find the Blyth Nettle and coming this week is a new addition, a wine-soaked version!

With Christmas just around the corner, be sure to add this one to your holiday cheese platters...and with that in mind, be sure to order your custom platters and gift baskets from C'est Cheese Please! soon to avoid disappointment!

Bon Appetit!

Friday, July 17, 2015

Wendi's Faves

Well, I heard it through the grapevine that you might want to know some of the favourite cheeses of mine!

This is a question that I get regularly here at and one that I find so difficult to answer.  But I thought that maybe I would take a stab at this...but be prepared, the list may be a long one!

In the soft cheese category, Sauvagine Reserve is the one that always is on my cheeseboard when it is available.  Sauvagine both the edition that is regularly available and the Reserve, from Quebec is a fabulous surface-ripened other words a brie although we are really not allowed to call these bries as they do not originate from the two regions of France, Ile-de-France and Champagne thought to be the birthplace of brie.  Sauvagine Reserve is only available certain times of the year and since this weekend is my birthday, I will be sneaking a piece from the half wheel that is left from the June release for my birthday cheeseboard.  Look for Sauvagine Reserve for your Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations which is the next time it will be available. But I will have a special on the regular Sauvagine starting next week (July 20) through the Civic Day weekend.

There is nothing like an aged Ontario Cheddar....these are getting like winning the lottery to find these days.  Sadly, the proliferation of cheap blocks of garbage in the grocery stores have affected the fine aged cheeses.  
C'est Cheese Please! Custom Smoked Cheddar - I love, love, love this!  I have a 2 year old cheddar custom smoked for me and it is delicious!  Alone or try making a panini with fresh tomato and the Beet and Red Onion Marmalade from Wildly Delicious which is also available here at C'est Cheese Please!

I have a number of blue cheeses that I really like.  Roaring 40's from Tazmania, Le Bleu d'Elisabeth and Bleu d'Auvergne are all fabulous.  And when I think about baking a brie, I like to do that with one of the small wheels of Borgonzola (a brie, gorgonzola combination)....just a bit different and delicious with a fruit comport...lots of those to choose from here at the store!

BellaVitano is one of my top sellers...the Merlot is so popular however, my favorite is the Espresso-coated one.  This goes so well with a big red wine....think Ripasso or a Cabernet Sauvingnon and if it has notes of chocolate to it, it is even better!

One other one that is appropriate for now is the Buffalo Mozzarella - I do not like Bocaccini which I find rubbery and tasteless but the Buffalo Mozzarella has a creamy texture and mild flavour that is perfect for Caprese Salad or pizza or how about with this Heirloom Tomato, Mozzarella and Stone Fruit Salad?

Bon Appetit!

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Canada Day

Canada Day is just around the corner!  And since no celebration would be complete without a selection of cheeses, I would like to suggest a cheese board representing the founding provinces of Canada with one exception and that is Nova Scotia.  There is a wonderful cheese from this province but unfortunately it is not licensed to sell outside of Nova Scotia.  So I have instead selected a cheese from Prince Edward Island which although that province didn't join the confederation until 1873, it was the site of the Charlottetown Conference in 1863 which set the groundwork for the founding of the most wonderful country in the world, Canada!

So without further adieu, here is the selection of cheeses for your Canada Day cheeseboard.  All are available at C'est Cheese Please!

  • Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (PEI) - this thermalized milk cheddar is made in a typically British fashion by binding the wheel of cheese with cloth (this keeps the moisture in the cheese) and since this is from PEI, the cloth that is used are potato sacks!  This gives an earthy taste to the cheese.  Aged 12 months.  Award winning (First prize - American Cheese Society Conference, 2012, Second prize - American Cheese Society Conference, 2013)
  • Gai Bleu (New Brunswick) - a raw milk blue that is velvety on the tongue and earthy in taste from La Bergerie  Aux 4 Vents in Camp Doré.  It is named for the Blue Jay's that made the farm their home.
  • Le 1608 - Charlevoix region of Québec, this wash-rind cheese is made from the milk of the oldest breed of cattle in Canada, the Canadienne.  This breed is directly descended from a few hundred cattle brought from Normandy and Brittany 400 years ago!  More Canadian than maple syrup!
  • Lindsay Clothbound Goat Cheddar - this goat cheddar is aged 12 months.  Creamy, buttery and with that tangy goat cheese flavour, it is no wonder it took Second Place for Best of Show at the 2011 American Cheese Society Conference.
Happy Canada Day!  Joyeux Jour du Canada!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Summertime And The Living is Oh So Easy

These wonderful Chévres just shout "Summer is Here!" don't they?  These flower topped delicacies are from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company and although they have been around for a time, they are still a favorite.

In 1996, David Wood and his wife started selling their handmade goat cheese from their farm on Salt Spring Island, just off the coast of BC.  
Their goal was to make excellent cheese with quality ingredients....and  succeed they have.  The list of ingredients is short:  100% goat milk, sea salt, dairy culture and rennet.  Try pairing these pretty chévres with a Sauvignon Blanc.

Also from Salt Spring Island Cheese Company is Blue Juliette.  This is another of their chévres this time made with half blue culture and half white which produces a mild goat blue.  Try pairing this one with a  slightly chilled Gamay Noir or Pinot Noir. 

Both are in stock at C'est Cheese Please! 

Either one of these on the afternoon cheese platter will have you  singing too!  And just in case you've forgotten just how good Ella Fitzgerald is, here's a reminder!

Bon Appétit!