When I was growing up we had 2 or three choices when it came to cheese; cheddar, Colby and mozzarella. We had cheese slices for burgers and grilled cheese, jars of Cheese Whiz for slopping on celery sticks, something called “Velveeta” and, for a real treat, the laughing cow. Almost all of these were made by KRAFT, or Black Diamond, and none of them was really inspiring. Cheese came from a factory.
Sure, we knew that were other choices out there, stinky blue cheeses, runny Brie and Camembert, goat’s milk cheeses, but these were hard to find and were for special occasions only. Certainly none of the exotic varieties were available at our corner store, and when you could find them, the packages indicated that they all came from far away lands, places where cheese making was a way of life.
The thought of a truly great cheese being made in your vicinity was almost unthinkable; leave that to France, Italy, Switzerland. The old country. Maybe Quebec, that’s about as local as it got; great wheels of the stuff churned out by murmuring monks hidden away in an enchanted monastery that time forgot.
Well, we all know that has changed. Environmental and social awareness has spread to the average consumer and is not just the concern of the voices offstage; Ontario cheese makers have moved into the centre stage and are now becoming stars of the movement. After all, the best cheese is made with organic, and locally sourced milk attained from ethically treated animals, so why wouldn’t it work? This is why artisanal dairies like Ruth Klahsen’s Montforte Dairy and Prince Edward County’s Fifth Town Cheese are leaders in the field.
Fifth town Cheese produces some of the finest artisanal cheese available, made from hormone and antibiotic free sheep, goat and cows milk sourced from Local Food Plus (LFP) certified farms, achieving Platinum LEED accreditation under the Leadership in Energy and environmental Design.
And the bottom line for us, the average consumer? Their cheese is outstanding. Over two dozen varieties are available, Fresh cheese, washed-rind, soft ripened, hard cheese, brine ripened….there is so much more than Colby or Marble available for us now.
Pick up some fresh Lavender Chevre or some washed rind Morning Moon and save the Velveeta for Ants on a Log or these wacky Nutburgers!