The Cheese Well Traveled – Ontario Cheese Comes West

In country as big as Canada there are bound to be cheeses that never leave their home regions or are not known well enough by local cheesemongers to bring them in.  Thanks to an internet cheese friend, yes that is a thing, I was lucky enough to sample some great Ontario Cheeses that don’t make it to Alberta, well Edmonton at least.The line upI want to thank Kelsie Parsons for bringing these great cheeses from Ontario on his recent trip out west for work  Kelsie was the Official Cheesemonger for the 2014 American Cheese Society Conference and is currently putting the finishing touches on his book about Artisan Cheesemakers in Canada.Of these three cheeses two were from Mountainoak Cheese , the other was from Gunn’s Hill Cheese and this is the one I want to talk about first.

Gunn’s Hill Cheese is in Oxford County,  near Woodstock, Ontario.  I have had the pleasure of sampling a Gunn’s Hill Cheese before, Oxford Harvest, which made me an instant fan.  I have always wanted to try 5 brothers, which according to their website, “..combines traits from Gouda and another Swiss variety called Appenzeller” and given my Josef is based on an Appenzeller I was intrigued.

A beautiful looking and smelling cheese

A beautiful looking and smelling cheese

It is a washed rind cheese, but without being overly stinky

It is a washed rind cheese, but without being overly stinky.

I was not disappointed by this cheese.

Tasting Notes For 5 Brothers

  • Appearance: The rind was a light rust/orange colour and was a nice contrast to the cream colour paste of the cheese.
  • Nose (aroma):  Though it was a washed rind cheese, it was not overly stinky, it had floral and fruit notes mixed in with the linens smell.
  • Overall Taste: This was where I had a little issue discerning the flavour, don’t get me wrong it was great, but there were one or two parts to the flavour that I had a problem identifying.  The Finnish was nutty and it lingered in a good way.
  • Sweet to Salty: The salt levels were perfect, this is a well made cheese and there was a certain lactic sweetness to it as well.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): It was hard to categorize this cheese.  Closer to the rind it was a bit fragrant but the interior paste was quite mellow.
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): I was pleased with the surprisingly creaminess of the cheese.  I was expecting a more firm cheese but it was melt in your mouth amazing.

The other two cheeses were from Mountainoak Cheese, One was an aged Gouda with mustard seeds and the other was their Farmstead Premium Dutch Gold which is an aged Gouda as well.

Lets go with the Mustard Seed Premium Dutch Gouda first, this cheese surprised me.  Normally I loath any cheese with bits of this and bits of that in it.  This cheese has made my exceptions list.

This cheese left me momentarily Speachless

This cheese left me momentarily speechless

Mustard seeds and Cheese Diamonds (Tyrosine)

Mustard seeds and Cheese Diamonds (Tyrosine)

I could not stop eating this cheese.

Tasting Notes For Mustard Seed Premium Dutch Gouda

  • Appearance: As with most Gouda’s the rind was waxed with a yellow wax but the paste was ivory in colour.  The mustard seeds added a nice contrast to the pale paste and they also highlighted the white crystals in the cheese.
  • Nose (aroma):  Aroma wise it like any other Gouda I have had before, but there was a certain something that was there, whether it was the mustard seeds I don’t know.
  • Overall Taste: Oh my, the flavour was what I expected in an aged Gouda, but when you got the pepperiness from the mustard seeds it brought it to a whole new level for me.
  • Sweet to Salty: There was a distinct sweetness to the cheese but it was counter balanced with the pepperiness and the hint of salt that the cheese finished with.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): It had a certain robustness that I loved, maybe I have turned that corner on seeds in cheese, or maybe it is just this cheese.
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): Creamy yet crunchy!  The mustard seeds and the tyrosine crystals were nice and crunchy but the creaminess of the paste was great.

Finally we come to the Farmstead Premium Dutch Gold

I can understand why this cheese has the name Gold

I can understand why this cheese has the name Gold

Chock full of small eyes and tyrosine crystals.

Chock full of small eyes and tyrosine crystals.

This is the cheese that got me to stop eating 5 Brothers.

Tasting Notes For Farmstead Premium Dutch Gold

  • Appearance: Like the previous cheese the rind was waxed with a yellow wax, but the paste was a darker ivory.  You could seed the small eyes that form in some Gouda and lots of white crystals
  • Nose (aroma):  Again this smelled like any other Gouda that I have had before, but it had a certain sweetness to it.
  • Overall Taste: This cheese was amazing, it had caramel and butterscotch flavours and some coffee notes too.
  • Sweet to Salty:  I did find this cheese a little on the sweet side, it was hard to stop eating it though.
  • Mild (mellow) to Robust to Pungent (stinky): I wouldn’t call this a robust cheese, but it packed a bit of a punch in the flavour department.
  • Mouth Feel: (gritty, sandy, chewy, greasy, gummy, etc.): Creamy yet crunchy again!  This time the crunch came from the crystals in the cheese.  Oh my I love the texture of this cheese.

I cannot thank Kelise enough for bringing me these cheeses and I am finally getting around to finishing the last of them as I type this post.  I think I will be speaking to a few of the cheese shops in Edmonton to see if they can get these in their cases soon.

Ian Logo

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