Pass the cheese please

Recently we had the wonderful opportunity to explore one of Canada’s culinary treasures!. and culinary pleasures! pass the cheese please.

Pictured above: Canada’s Cheese Guru Gurth Pretty joined us in studio.

Recently we had the wonderful opportunity to explore one of Canada’s culinary treasures!. and culinary pleasures! pass the cheese please. Did you know that Canada produces over 1700 fabulous cheese from the most familiar to the most exotic? Incredible! Who would ever think that we were so prolific as a nation in the cheese producing area!

Well, we were definitely in for a cheesy time and treat when we were joined in studio January 24th,2009, by Gurth Pretty, Canada’s Cheese Guru. Gurth Pretty is a professional chef, cheese connoisseur and owner of Epicurean Expeditions. His goal is to show to Canadians and the world the delicious cheese produced in Canada.

Gurth brought in a fine selection of assorted cheese and we munched away as we learned that cheese is made from goats, cows and sheep. Although cheese made from cow’s milk is the most popular, goat cheese is easier to digest for people who are lactose intolerant and cheese made of sheep’s milk is very nutritious and also easy to digest.

Gurth wanted to enlighten our listeners about raw (unpasteurized) milk cheese and in fact most of the cheese we tasted that day was made that way. Raw milk cheese means, that the milk has not been heated to over 40 degrees prior to the cheese being produced and federal regulations require the cheese is aged for a minimum of 60 days. It is believed by cheese connoisseurs that the presence of the good bacteria allows for a more complex cheese. We certainly were not disappointed with the selection of cheese brought in by Gurth which included the following fabulous cheese. Go out and get some! Be creative and adventureous with your cheese!

Above: All cheese are made in Ontario with unpasteurized milk

From left to right:
* Sheep milk feta – a creamy, slightly crumbly cheese stored in both brine and whey solution. Less salty than other fetas. Produced by Best Baa Dairy.
* Extra Old Orange Cheddar – a classic nippy cheddar made with cow’s milk by Jensen Cheese.
* Mountain Shepherd – a firm, sheep milk cheese washed with B. linens bacterial culture. This extra culture gives the cheese a more pronounced aroma. Produced by Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy.
* Elderberry – a firm, sheep milk cheese washed with elderberry juice. Produced by Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy.
* Orati Mountain – a firm, sheep milk cheese, dusted with limestone. It is recommended not to eat the rind. Produced by Canreg Station Farm & Pasture Dairy.
* Mouton Rouge – a firm, sheep milk cheese washed with a salt water brine solution. Produced by Best Baa Dairy.
* Sheep milk feta crumbles – crumbled pieces of Best Baa Dairy’s feta

County Natural! Dried Apple and Pear Crackers (pictured) were served with the cheese

Cheese and fruit crackers are available for purchase at the Cheese of Canada locations. Visit their website for more information.

If you want to create the perfect cheese platter follow Canada’s Cheese Guru’s tips. Enjoy!

1. Create platters with different themes (ie. regional, provincial, national, specific types of milk such as raw, pasteurized or organic).
2. Choose three to five cheese.
3. Select different varieties
– soft ( ie. Comfort Cream or Camembert)
– semi-soft (ie. Niagara Gold or OKA)
– firm (ie. a heritage cheddar from a co-op, gouda or Cape Vessey)
– hard (ie. Montasio or Parmigiano-Reggiano)
– blue (ie. Bleu b

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