Baluchon – Canada
I came across this cheese at the Longo’s Supermarket on Thomas Street in Mississauga. There was a big sign in the cheese section that proclaimed Baluchon to be Longo’s cheese of the Month (August 2011). They had samples set out. I had my kids with me and we all tried a piece. The decision was unanimous … this cheese is good. I bought some and brought it home wondering if my wife would like it. There are not too many cheeses that the whole family considers to be good. This was one.
This cheese is produced by Fromagerie F.X. Pichet in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Quebec.
This is an organic cheese made from Quebec certified organic raw cow’s milk. It is a semi-firm washed rind cheese that is made on the farm. It is formed into 1.75-kilogram wheels and aged a minimum of 60 days. I’m a supporter of organic food and I give this cheese an extra nod because it is organic.
The Baluchon label has a cute cartoon mouse that I’m sure was a factor in attracting the attention and affection of my kids.
Don’t let the cute mouse fool you. This is serious cheese. Baluchon was the chosen as a Champion cheese in the Organic Cheese category at the 2009 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.
I found the Baluchon to have similarity to Oka L’Artisan and Upper Canada’s Niagara Gold, both of which I have tried and reviewed previously. The Baluchon is a little milder than the Niagara Gold and it is a little tamer than the Oka L’Artisan. Personally, I like all three and choosing a favorite would depend on my mood or the food pairing.
What does Baluchon cheese taste like? The Fromagerie F.X. Pichet website describes the cheese as having sweet farmer aromas with a hazelnut flavor and an aftertaste of sweet clover. My cheese pallet is still developing and I had to search for those flavours when I was tasting. I convinced myself the flavours were there but they are very subtle. This is not a Hazelnut nor clover cheese. I thought the cheese tasted creamy and a little buttery. The flavours are subtle, pleasant and well balanced. This is not a salty cheese. The texture is very smooth and the Baluchon softens on your tongue.
On a cheese board I would not serve this at the same time as Oka L’Artisan nor Niagara Gold because the three cheese are so similar. Between the three cheese I think I would give the Baluchon slight preference because it is an organic cheese that showcases the best of this cheese style so well.
You can’t go wrong with Baluchon.