One of the best parts of summer is cottage weekends – the lake, the company, and – of course – the food! (And if you’re city-bound, try these Cottage In The City spots to get the cottage experience without the travel time!). While we’re not saying that you should buy ALL the cheese for your cottage weekend, we put our heads together and came up with a few essentials that we would bring if we had cottages or weekends to spare or even (gasp) both!
We want to get maximum bang for our cheese buck – so we picked cheeses that could serve a few different functions while also repping some of our favourite Canadian dairies!
St. Albert’s Cheese Co-Op is one of the oldest cooperatives in Canada – they’ve been making excellent cheese for a very long time! Their Smoked Cheddar is an award-winning one year aged cheddar delicately smoked with real applewood. It is the backbone of many fantastic cheese plates, and makes exquisite grilled cheese sandwiches for a quick breakfast (or an anytime meal for picky eaters). As well, it’s really popular with kids – a few slices on a plate with some Granny Smith or Pink Lady apples makes a great snack!
Fromage du Presbytère is literally that – a fromagerie inside a presbytery (aka a Roman Catholic rectory) – and they produce some of our favourite cheeses. For this cottage trip we picked their Bleu D’Élizabeth is a strong, lovely blue cheese made from cow’s milk. It makes for exceptional salads, and pairs wonderfully with dessert wines. If someone is scared of blue cheese, this probably isn’t the one to convert them (as our Fine Cheese manager said, “you can really taste the farm – but in a good way!”), but for any palates from curious to discriminating, this cheese is sure to please!
Nuts for Cheese makes lovely vegan cashew cheeses (nearby in London, Ontario), and this Un-Brie-Lievable is just that – a coconut cashew blend that soft and creamy. It comes in a triangular wedge, so it looks super-cute on a cheese plate!
Culcherd Tree Nut Cheese is soft and creamy, miraculously made from organic plant-based ingredients. Their Herb & Garlic is lovely on crackers or spread on toast, and is totally free from palm, soy, gluten and dairy
To round things off, we OF COURSE reached for a triple-cream brie: Saint-Honoré, from Fromagerie Alexis de Portneuf. This multiple award-winning cheese, made from pasteurized cow’s milk, is creamy and smooth and makes scrumptiously melty cheeseburgers. If you want to amaze your friends, you can also bake it in the campfire – just score the tip with a knife, add in your favourite toppers (nuts, fruit, dried berries, olives – whatever feels right), wrap it in foil and grill for about 10 minutes (turning once).
All of these cheese stand well alone, and can be used for a variety of purposes – and also you can throw ‘em together for a delicious and winning cheese plate! Have a cheesy summer!