Oka is a Canadian cheese. It is made in the Province of Quebec, in the village of Oka which lies on the Northern bank of the Ottawa River just southwest of Montreal. Oka is a small village with a population of 3,300.
The Oka cheese that made the town famous has an interesting history. Oka cheese originated in 1893. It was derived from an altered recipe of French Port Salut cheese brought to Quebec from France by Trappist Monks. The cheese was made in a Monestary in the village of Oka. The resulting cheese was named after the village. In 1996 the Les Peres Trappists sold the rights of Oka cheese to Agropur. The cheese is still made in Oka but is also made in the town of Holland in Manitoba, Canada.
The picture I took of the Oka L’Artisan does not show the small air holes very well that are part of the character of this cheese. Here is a picture from Google images that shows the holes better.
Oka cheese is classified as a firm cheese made from cow’s milk. It is a washed rind cheese with a fat content of 28% and a protein content of 22%. Oka L’Artisan is a variation of the traditional Oka. It has more honeycomb than the classic Oka.
Oka L’Artisan was the Grand Champion cheese of the Royal Winter Fair 2009. It also won a 1st place award in the 2009 American Cheese Society Cheese Competition in the category of Emmentaler Style Made from Cow’s Milk with Eyed Formation
How does it taste?
I found the cheese mild with a smooth and pleasant texture. It has a faint hazelnut and buttery taste. It is slightly nutty and slightly fruity. It is light and refreshing. I think it would be a good first cheese on a cheese board.
I have tried the Oka classic and I prefer the Oka L’Artisan.
Because the Oka is part of the Agropur product line it appears to be well distributed and available at most better grocery stores. The Oka L’Artisan is a pretty safe bet if you are looking for a cheese for your cheese board, or to serve to guests. You will also have a nice story to tell about monks, Monasteries and Quebec.
Oka L’Artisan is OK!
Thanks for stopping by my blog! And love this rundown on Oka – I’ll know what I’m getting into if I find it at Whole Foods 🙂
I have a small, wax-wrapped (sticker-sealed, in box) round of oka and, sadly, learned that it is a month past the expiry date. I am very sad about this. So sad, that I feel compelled to eat it anyway. I have opened it to see how it’s doing and it smells strong, but like a rind would smell, but it seems quite firm. I’ve only had it once before, but I recall it being a bit softer. It looks and feels a bit like a hockey puck. That said, I haven’t yet cut into it and I don’t plan to until I can get some advice about it. I want to eat it – with fig jam and melba toasts! Can this safely happen? WWYD? Thanks!
The expiry date is a guide but the ultimate condition of the cheese is the result of how it has been handled and stored on it’s journey to you. I have tried some cheese well beyond the expiry date and found some to be perfectly fine, others … not so much. By your description it sounds like your OKA may simply be dried out. That in and of itself does not make it inedible. However, it may not taste very good. If it has grey or black mold, or smells rancid, do not eat it.
Hey! I’ve been meaning to thank you for your reply! I still haven’t eaten it (haha); however, I’ll take another look and see. The seal has been broken since I commented on this at the beginning of the month. If it’s edible, I’ll experiment with it.
Thanks again! I’ll be back when I have more questions. I’m a nut for cheese and most people just don’t find the topic as ‘lasting’ as I do!
Lol erin its been almost a month. Do not eat that cheese! It happens to all of us, ultimately some things need to be thrown away. If you eat that cheese you risk losing your love for cheese which I can see is something important to you.
I buy tiny pieces of cheese from the cheesemonger. Because i love to try so many different cheese buying small ensures nothing goes to waste. treat yourself to an ounce or two of oka next time you are at the market. That is the thing about oka you can get it at most good supermarkets.
Like in the commercial that is so funny when he tells the tourists that his cousin brought some from Toronto.hahah. I really enjoy oka and i have tried oka creme too it has a nice taste and it is not a super expensive cheese. Please don’t eat the questionable wheel of oka from your fridge. From a fellow cheese lover.
Shoot i didnt realize it was from last year. R.i.p.