Mont St. Benoit Cheese is made by Monks in Quebec

Mont St. Benoit Cheese

I found some Canadian Mont St. Benoit cheese at the Gouda For You cheese store in Barrie, Ontario.

Mont St. Benoit is a Canadian version of “Swiss Cheese”. I thought it looked similar to Emmental but several web sites describe it as a mild Grueye.

This cheese is produced by the only cheese dairy in North America run by Benedictine Monks. The Monks reside at the Abbaye De St-Benoît-Du-Lac which is located in the municipality of Saint-Benoit-du-Lac on the border of the Memphemagog lake, in Quebec. It is East of Montreal and a short distance North of Vermont.

Saint-Benoit-du-Lac - image from Bing Maps

The Monastery is beautiful.

Abbay Saint Benoit - image from their website

This Benedictine Abbey, which was founded in 1912, is a working Catholic Religious order with fifty eight monks (2009) who live according to the monastic rule written by Saint Benoit.

The first cheese was created at the Abbey in 1943. There are currently ten cheeses made at the Abbey.

The Cheeses of Abbey de Saint Benoit - image from their website

In the image above, cheese #1 is the Mont St. Benoit. More information about the cheeses of the abbey can be found on their website.

Mont St. Benoit is a firm cow’s milk cheese with 31% MF and 42% MC.

The Fromages CDA Inc. website describes the cheese as follows.

The Mont St-Benoît is rindless. It is firm yet supple and elastic. It is scattered with holes or “eyes” and emits a hazelnut smell that is lightly accented by the scent of fermentation, which is typical of a Swiss cheese. Its delicate hazelnut and butter flavours will charm you. It is also an excellent cheese to cook with as it melts and browns at high temperatures.

I found the cheese mild and pleasant. I think this cheese would be delicious melted on a ham sandwich. Frankly, I found the story behind the cheese to be more exciting than the cheese.

What I really enjoy about my cheese adventure is discovering and learning. I am so glad that I tried this cheese since it introduced me to some history and geography of which I was unaware. When I have the opportunity to travel in Northern Vermont or East of Montreal I am definitely going to visit the Abbaye De St-Benoît-Du-Lac.

Their cheese factory is not open to the public, however, they do maintain a store on the grounds of the monastery.  According to my research, the store also offers other products made by the monks, including: apple sauces and ciders, chocolate products, crafts and gift items.

I am so impressed by the Monastery that I’ve attached a short video showcasing the building and the grounds. It’s narrated in French but you will get the message regardless.

Abbaye De St-Benoît-Du-Lac is a beautiful place, with a wonderful story, that also produces a good cheese. It doesn’t get much better than that.

11 comments on “Mont St. Benoit Cheese is made by Monks in Quebec

  1. I used to purchase your cheese from the Hickory Farm Store in the Lincoln Mall in Lincoln, RI. They no longer have a store there and I have not been able to find it anywhere.

  2. The cheese I used to purchase from Hickory Farms is delicious and we have the same name!

  3. I would appreciate hearing from someone regarding this. Merci,

  4. Jane Havran says:

    I also first tasted your delicious cheese at a Hickory Farms store. How can I purchase some from you?

    Jane Havran

  5. Kathy R says:

    I too have been looking for this cheese which used to be at Hickory Farms. Where can I purchase this cheese?

  6. Bill Straehl says:

    I used to run a Hickory Farms store where I discovered this, my favorite cheese. We were told that we were the only retail store that sold it. As far as I know, now you have to get it directly from the monastery. I have, and it was as good as I had remembered. Still trying to find out if they would ship it.

  7. Andrew says:

    We buy this in Waterloo, Ontario at a fantastic store called Vincenzo’s. Usually get a wedge every week. Love this cheese!

  8. Cheryl c mcdonald says:

    How can I order mont st Benoit cheese made by Benedictine monks ….

  9. Cheryl c mcdonald says:

    I wold love to order the Mont St. Benoit cheese, But Where ?

  10. Robert Young says:

    If you visit the monastery, you might also want to purchase their apple cider, which is a nice accompaniment to the cheese. There are many excellent hotels, B&Bs and restaurants in the Southern Townships (Cantons de l’Est). Magog is at the north end of the lake and is an excellent place to visit. If you enjoy reading mysteries, a local author Louise Penney has made a name for herself. I encourage you to read some of her works to get a sense of the joie de vivre of les Quebecois before spending this time in bilingual Canada.

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