The variety and quality of Canadian cheeses has never been so high nor has it been so popular. New handcrafted cheeses continue to emerge to critical acclaim, winning international awards. At the 2013 Global Cheese Awards in England, an aged Lankaaster by Glengarry Cheesemaking in the small town of Lancaster, Ontario was declared "Supreme Global Champion." As Huffington Post put it, "Canada, it's time to celebrate cheese in a big way."
This completely revised and updated edition of a cheese-lover's classic does just that. Canadian Cheese: A Guide is a comprehensive reference to some of the newest, best and most popular of them.
New and updated sections, content and photographs include:
The author shares her insights on such popular cheese topics as raw milk cheese, discerning quality, whether to eat the rind (or not), cheesemaking and ingredients.
Canadian Cheese: A Guide promises to add excitement to readers' appetites for cheese. It helps make sense of the many cheeses available at grocery stores, cheese boutiques and fromageries, and helps to break the pattern of buying the same, familiar cheese.
Professionally renowned for her work in furthering artisan and specialty cheese in the US and Canada, Kathy Guidi founded the first full curriculum cheese appreciation school in North America and is a founding member of the ACS Cheese Professional Certification Program. Consultant to numerous cheese producers, trade organizations and consulates during a 40-year career, Kathy continues to influence and lead the domestic and international cheese world through her in-depth training sessions and interactive cheese tasting series Conversations In Cheese.
New in This Edition
In the first edition of this book I told you about my journey in cheese and provided a snapshot of the burgeoning cheesemaking craft in Canada. In this edition, four years later, I am honoured to expand on the cheesemakers' journey in Canadian artisan cheese, sharing more about the pioneers who create new cheeses, their inspiration and their roots, as well as passing along some new nuggets of cheese knowledge to further your appreciation of fine cheese.
There is a lot of new information in this edition. Tasting notes for 38 new cheeses have been added, and many of the cheese notes from the previous edition have been expanded. Canadian goat cheese now has its own chapter to highlight the variety in this cheese family. As well, there is a full and expanded chapter on Canadian washed rind cheese to spotlight the incredible variety and quality in what I believe will be our point of excellence in the world of cheese over time, much as Cheddar has established our legacy to date. Some of the cheeses in this edition are available only in their home provinces, but I chose to include them in an effort to support the many new artisans who make cheese their livelihood.
In this book there is a sub-theme that links New World Canadian cheese to Old World "heirloom" cheese--varieties that have been around for hundreds (if not thousands!) of years. This historical perspective fascinates me, and I believe it helps us to better appreciate our artisan cheeses and industry. The great European cheeses have influenced many of our cheesemakers in what they make. To know the history and attributes of these "model" cheeses is to understand our own. Discussed in this book are 31 traditional European cheeses presented on their own, in addition to many others offered along with the Canadian cheese that bears their name.
Pairing suggestions for beer and Canadian cheese have been added by cheese family, because enjoying these two fermented products together is becoming as popular as wine with cheese. The basic concept is to find balance between the beer and the cheese by seeking characteristics in each that complement or contrast each other, recognizing that mild cheese goes better with lighter beer while stronger-tasting cheese harmonizes with bigger-flavoured beers.
Are you curious as to what cheeses Canadian cheesemongers, cheese writers and cheese educators enjoy in their personal time? Find out in What's on Your Cheeseboard? Eleven picks of three cheeses each are slotted throughout this book. Use them as a guide for putting together your own cheeseboard as you seek new varieties to try, or simply walk in some celebrity "cheese shoes" for a night. Of course, all of the cheese picks are presented in this book.
Using the tried and true "ladder of cheese appreciation" is the best way to get to know and enjoy more cheese. In this edition, the ladder suggestions--If You Like This . . . Try This!--have been expanded within each family, starting with a European heirloom cheese as the first rung in the ladder. My advice to students is to try one new cheese a week, and ideally to cross-reference it with other cheeses tasted from that ladder group by keeping a cheese journal. There are many ways to build your own ladders; mine are simply suggestions to get you started.
To love cheese you should know something about it, and that is an ongoing learning process. Therefore, several new Cheese FAQs have been added with answers to questions I get at cheese tastings, such as why some cheese is seasonal, what calcium chloride is, what is "artisan" in cheese, Canadian cheese in competitions, and nutrition labelling on artisan cheese. Plus you'll find clearer nomenclature for raw, unpasteurized and pasteurized cheese used in the tasting discussions. Thankfully, the industry is coming together on this confusing but important issue.
Sometimes you need information fast, so this edition has an index of cheeses and topics that makes using the book easier. And websites for Canadian cheesemakers featured in the book have been added (see Appendix D) so you can get more information about your favourite makers or cheeses and follow their progress.
I hope you find this edition interesting and helpful and that it helps to provide respite from a crazy world through cheese appreciation and enjoyment--something we could do well to learn from the Europeans. Remember: slow down when eating cheese so you can savour each and every bite. Try to visualize the dairy animal grazing in the pasture, the cheesemaker gently scooping curds into the moulds, and the affineur turning and/or washing the cheese, waiting for it to glorify this ancient craft that expresses the best of the land and animals through a simple liquid--milk. That's truly appreciating cheese.
We all share cheese. It is a cultural icon in food that brings out our common bond as humans in the most primal and enjoyable manner. Why else would we "say cheese" when being asked to smile for a photograph?
Wishing you a lifetime of outstanding cheese experiences! -- Kathy
Dedication, Acknowledgments and Thanks Introduction: New in This Edition How to Use This Book The Raw Milk Question How to Eat Cheese (Like a Pro)
Chapter 1: Fresh Unripened Cheese
Appendix A What to Eat with Cheese Appendix B The Significance of Moisture Level Appendix C Canadian Cheese by Family and Milk Type Appendix D Canadian Cheese by Province and Producer Index