Every two years, the cheese industry gets together to celebrate the best in quality and innovation with the awarding of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix awards.
On Wednesday night, at a gala event in Toronto, the 2011 awards were handed out. The overall winner: Louis d’Or, made by Fromagerie du Presbytère in Sainte-Élizabeth-de-Warwick, Que. It was awarded the Grand Champion prize.
Louis d’Or is a 40-kg wheel of cheese that’s ripened for nine months. It gets its name from Louis d’Or farm, which produces the organic milk used to make it. It also refers to the French currency of the same name used under the reign of Louis XIII in 1640.
The cheese was selected from among 200 contenders by a seven-person jury made up of cheese experts.
“The milky richness of this cheese is a tribute to the organic milk with which it is made. The cheese has a smooth texture, warm nutty and floral notes in aroma and taste,” said Phil Bélanger, chair of the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury and President of the New Brunswick Chapter of La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs.
Overall, 17 awards were handed out by Dairy Farmers of Canada, which organizes the Cheese Grand Prixs.
In addition to the top prize, Louis d’Or was a winner in three categories: Firm Cheese, Farmhouse Cheese and Organic Cheese. Other winners by category:
Fresh cheese: Mascarpone Tre Stelle (Arla Foods, Ontario)
Soft cheese with bloomy rind: Island Bries (Little Qualicum Cheeseworks, B.C.)
Semi-soft cheese: Lankaaster Traditional Gouda (Glengarry Fine Cheese, Ontario)
Washed-rind cheese soft and semi-soft cheese: Le Mont-Jacob (Fromagerie Blackburn, Quebec)
Swiss-type cheese: Fromage Suisse Lemaire (Fromagerie Lemaire, Quebec)
Mozzarella: Bocconcini Santa Lucia (International Cheese Co., Ontario)
Blue cheese: Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère, Quebec)
Flavoured cheese with added non-particulate flavouring: Naturally Smoked Boerenkaas (Natural Pastures Cheese Company, B.C.)
Flavoured cheese with added particulate solids and flavouring: Gouda Herbs and Garlic (Sylvan Star Cheese, Alberta)
Mild Cheddar: Mild Cheddar (The Black River Cheese Company, Ontario)
Medium Cheddar: Cheddar moyen Biologique (Fromagerie L’Ancêtre, Quebec)
Old, Extra Old Cheddar: Le Jersey du Fjord (Bergeries du Fjord, Quebec)
Aged Cheddar (1-3 years): Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (Cows Creamery, P.E.I.)
Aged (4 years +): Cheddar Doyen 4 years (Fromagerie Perron, Quebec)