Blue Haze – Canada
Blue Haze is a Canadian blue cheese with a little something special. I found this cheese at Whole Foods in Oakville.
This is a smoked blue cheese, made from cow’s milk, that is produced by the the monks at the Abbaye de Saint-Benoît-du-Lac in Quebec. I’ve tried other cheeses made by the monks such as Frere Jacques and Mont St. Benoit. This one is my favorite so far.
Blue Haze is aged 10 weeks at the Abbaye then it is shipped to Provincial Fine Foods in Toronto. There it is packaged in Cryovac to set the curds and it is held for 4 weeks to firm. After that, it is transported to Hansen Farms in Cayuga, Ontario for smoking. The journey is worth it. The result is a smokey rind that transitions into a creamy salty and sweet center enhanced by the special tang and flavor of the blue veins. It all comes together so nicely.
When I try a cheese I savor the flavor and let my mind wander as my palette searches to interpret the texture and gracefully separate the mixture of subtle flavors. Strangely, while tasting the Blue Haze, I began thinking about camping and sitting by a camp fire. Slowly my mind drifted into fond memories of a Canoe trip that I had done last fall with friends through Algonquin Park. This is a little bizarre since although we had taken some cheese for snacking, we didn’t eat Blue Haze on the trip. Maybe it was the cheese and smoke combination that stirred something.
That’s the power of cheese. Sometimes when I eat a cheese it prompts a memory. Music does this for me too. I’ll hear a song and it will remind me of a place I visited, or a person I was with. Maybe that’s weird, but that’s me. None-the-less the Blue Haze cheese had me thinking about canoeing, camping and Algonquin Park.
However my mind works it does not matter, I enjoyed the cheese and I enjoyed the memories of Algonquin Park. On a cheese board, save this cheese for last. Its flavor will overpower the milder cheeses and the smokiness may linger.
When I consider the interesting flavor, the nice texture and the fond memories it spurred; the Blue Haze is on the favorites list for me.