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Finalists Announced in the Seventh Canadian Cheese Grand Prix

cheese trayThe Dairy Farmers of Canada today released the list of finalists in the seventh Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. A panel of Canada’s top cheese experts spent two days rigorously tasting and evaluating 203 (a new record number of cheeses from six provinces were submitted for consideration) of the best cheeses this country has to offer, and narrowed the field down to 51, divided into 18 categories. The Champions and Grand Champion will be revealed on April 20th at Toronto’s Palais Royale at the Gala of Champions.

“We are very excited with the record number of entrants in this year’s Canadian Cheese Grand Prix,” said Phil Bélanger, Jury Chairman of the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. “My fellow judges and I were thrilled to see the variety and excellent quality of cheese made from 100% Canadian milk produced in Canada.”

To be eligible for the Grand Prix, cheeses must be produced in Canada exclusively from 100% Canadian cow’s milk and be available to consumers at point of sale at the time they are judged.

These are the 51 finalists for the 2011 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix:

1. Fresh cheese:
Fromage cottage Ý  l’ancienne (Beurrerie Du Patrimoine) QC
Mascarpone Tre Stelle (Arla Foods Inc.) ON
Omega-3 Ricotta (Silani Sweet Cheese Ltd.) ON

2. Soft cheese with bloomy rind:
Comox Brie (Natural Pastures Cheese Company) BC
Comox Camembert (Natural Pastures Cheese Company) BC
Island Bries (Little Qualicum Cheeseworks Ltd.) BC

3. Semi-soft cheese:
Lankaaster Traditional Gouda (Glengarry Fine Cheese) ON
Le Polichinel (Laiterie Chalifoux / Fromages Riviera) QC
Gouda Mild (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB

4. Washed-rind cheese (soft and semi-soft cheese):
Magie de Madawasca (Fromagerie Le Détour) QC
Le Rang des Iles (Fromagerie Médard) QC
Le Mont-Jacob (Fromagerie Blackburn) QC

5. Firm cheese:
Gouda Aged (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB
Lankaaster Traditional Gouda Aged (Glengarry Fine Cheese) ON
Louis d’Or (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC

6. Swiss-type cheese:
Fromage Suisse Lemaire (Fromagerie Lemaire) QC
Le Lotbinière (Fromagerie Bergeron inc.) QC
Le Moine (Fromagerie Abbaye St-Benoît) QC

7. Pasta filata: (This category was eliminated)

8. Mozzarella:
Burratta Bella Casara (Quality Cheese Inc.) ON
Mozzarella Tre Stelle (Arla Foods Inc.) ON
Bocconcini Santa Lucia (International Cheese Co. Ltd.) ON

9. Blue cheese:
Le Rassembleu (Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde) QC
Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC
Celtic Blue (Glengarry Fine Cheese) ON

10. Flavoured cheese with added non-particulate flavouring:
Smoked Gouda (Ivanhoe) ON
Naturally Smoked Boerenkaas (Natural Pastures Cheese Company) BC
Medium Gouda Smoked (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB

11. Flavoured cheese with added particulate solids and flavouring:
Gouda Herbs and Garlic (Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd.) AB
Monterey Jack and Cheddar cheese with salsa flavour (Ivanhoe) ON
Dofino Jalapeño Havarti (Arla Foods Inc.) ON

12. Mild Cheddar:
Cheddar Doux Biologique (Fomagerie L’Ancêtre inc.) QC
Mild Cheddar (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON
Mild Cheddar (The Black River Cheese Company Ltd.) ON

13. Medium Cheddar:
Medium Cheddar (The Black River Cheese Company Ltd.) ON
Medium Cheddar (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON
Cheddar moyen Biologique (Fromagerie L’Ancêtre inc.) QC

14. Old, Extra Old Cheddar:
Cheddar 1 an (Fromagerie Perron) QC
Naturally aged old Cheddar (Maple Dale Cheese) ON
Le Jersey du Fjord (Bergeries du Fjord) QC

15. Aged Cheddar (1-3 years):
Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar (Cows Creamery) PEI
Extra Old Cheddar (Cows Creamery) PEI
Cheddar extra old (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON

16. Aged Cheddar (4 years +):
Cheddar 5 years (St-Albert Cheese Co-operative Inc.) ON
Cheddar Doyen 4 ans (Fromagerie Perron) QC
Cheddar aged 8 years (Maple Dale Cheese) ON

17. Farmhouse cheese:
Louis d’Or (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC
Le Mont-Jacob (Fromagerie Blackburn) QC
Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC

18. Organic cheese:
Baluchon (Fromagerie FX Pichet) QC
Louis d’Or (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC
Le Bleu d’Élizabeth (Fromagerie du Presbytère) QC

The cheeses were judged by a jury made up of experts from across Canada recognized in their respective domain in the food industry. This year’s jury includes:

Phil Bélanger, Jury Chairman for the seventh edition of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. Phil is Senior Consultant for Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour for the province of New Brunswick and Chairman of La Confrérie de la Chaîne des Rôtisseurs for the New Brunswick chapter as well as an independent consultant in hospitality and tourism.

Gurth M. Pretty, Chef and author of several books on cheese, President and founder of CheeseofCanada.ca, President of the Ontario Cheese Society, as well as a member of La Société des fromages du Québec and the American Cheese Society.

Allison Spurrell, Owner of the cheese boutique Les Amis du Fromage and the cheese-inspired restaurant Au Petit Chavignol in Vancouver. Allison holds a certificate in cheese making technology from the University of Guelph and was inducted in the Confrérie des Chevaliers des Fromages de France.

Antoine Sicotte, Artist, television host, photographer, musician and self-taught cook extraordinaire. Antoine is the author of the best-seller Le Cuisinier rebelle, a cookbook as unique as its author. The book was honoured in the Best First Cookbook category at the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards in 2009, and won silver in the French cookbook category at the 2010 Canadian Culinary Book Awards. He is currently working on two new cookbooks, as well as several additional television projects.

Ian Picard, Vice-President of La Fromagerie Hamel in Montreal. Ian studied everything there is to learn about cheese at the École Nationale d’Industrie Laitière et des Biotechnologies de Poligny in France

Rita Demontis, award-winning writer with the Toronto Sun for 34 years, Lifestyle and Food editor, as well as National Food Editor for the Sun Media chain. Rita was recently awarded the Ontario Produce Marketing Association’s Person of the Year award in Ontario.

Michael Howell, Chef, cookbook author, leader of Slow Food Nova Scotia, President of The Restaurant Association of Nova Scotia and sits on the Board of Taste of Nova Scotia. Michael is also the owner of Tempest Restaurant in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.

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