DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese

DuVillage Le Triple Creme – Canada

DuVillage Triple Creme Cheese

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese

I picked up DuVillage Le Triple Creme cheese at the St. Lawrence Market in Toronto. I was enticed to buy it as the price was marked down since the cheese was very near its “best before” date. I picked it up, pressed on the corner and smelled it. It wasn’t overly soft nor did it smell unpleasant. I surmised that it was not overly ripe and I bought it.

DuVillage Le Triple Cream is a cow’s milk cheese produced by DuVillage 1860 located in Warwick, Quebec, Canada. Warwick is located about half way between Montreal and Quebec City.

Warwick, Quebec

Warwick, Quebec

This cheese is well packaged. There is a lot of information on the box as well as inside. On the side of the package it is says “Discover when the taste is right for you. Details Inside”.

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese side of the box

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese – side of the box

Now that is a great teaser. But while I was standing in the market holding the box I wanted the information that was hidden inside. Since I ended up buying the cheese I can save you the frustration. This is what it says inside.

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese info inside the box

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese info inside the box

This triple creme goes through three phases during it’s ripening.

  • Young – 35 days or more before the “best before” date
  • Semi-Ripened – 15 to 35 days before the “best before” date
  • Fully Ripened – 0 to 15 days before the “best before” date

You get to decide which stage you prefer and buy the cheese dated accordingly. The “best before” date appears on the bottom of the box.

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese bottom of package showing best before date

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese bottom of package showing best before date

Unpacking this cheese involves a few steps.

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese unwrapping

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese unwrapping

The cardboard box protects the soft package inside.

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese

Viola!

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese unwrapped

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese unwrapped

DuVillage Le Triple Creme is a surface ripened cheese. The rind is snowy white and covered with the penicillium mold that gives the cheese it’s character. Cutting the cheese in half reveals a buttery colored creamy white paste. The cheese that I had was fully ripened. It was shiny, soft and spreadable. If it had been younger then the paste likely would have been firmer, perhaps with a chalkier texture near the center.

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese cut in half

DuVillage Le Triple Creme Cheese cut in half

What does DuVillage Le Triple Creme cheese taste like? It is a rich with a mild, buttery and creamy taste. The rind is edible and it is mild. The quality of this cheese is very good. It won first place in the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in 2006 in the soft cheese category.

Were you wondering about that little 10,000 sticker on the outside of the package? That was a promotion for a contest with five prizes worth $10,000 each for a trip to the World’s Best Restaurant in Denmark. The coupon provided a web site address to enter: www.thewinningcheeses.ca. Unfortunately the contest was already closed to entry when I tried to sign up today.

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese contest

DuVillage Le Triple Cream Cheese contest

There was also some information on other cheeses by DuVillage.

DuVillage Cheeses Promotion

DuVillage Cheeses Promotion

as well as a $0.75 off coupon for future cheese purchase.

DuVillage Cheese Coupon

DuVillage Cheese Coupon

That coupon will come in handy because I plan to buy some La Sauvagine after a sampling in a recent Cheese Appreciation class.

DuVillage has a good website at www.DuVillage1860.com. This cheese seems well distributed as I have seen it in several other local grocery stores.

I thought that DuVillage Le Triple Creme was very good! I recommend this cheese.

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Saint Albray – The Stinky Flower Cheese

Saint Albray – France

Saint Albray is a “stinky” cheese imported into Canada from France. I found this cheese at my local Loblaws in Mississauga, Ontario.

Saint Albray Cheese

Saint Albray Cheese

It is produced in the Viscounty of Béarn in France by Group Bongrain.

Viscounty of Béarn, France

Viscounty of Béarn, France

It was invented and brought to market in 1976. It is made from pasteurized cow’s milk. The cheese is formed into a flower arrangement. Each wedge forms a pedal and there is a hole in the middle. This arrangement does not have anything to do with taste, but it is a clever marketing idea, being unique and eye catching.

Saint Albray Wheel

Saint Albray Cheese – It looks like a flower

The cows that produce the milk for this cheese are “Blonde des Pyrenees”.

This is a mixed washed rind cheese. The orange color of the rind comes from a bacteria called brevibacterium linens often shortened to b-linens. The rind is washed at the beginning of the ripening period, then left to continue ripening and develop a stinky funky rind. The b-linens is the same bacterium found on human skin and responsible for “foot odor”. So guess what. This cheese has an odor similar to “dirty socks”. Not quite as bad as my kid’s hockey bag. But you get the idea. It stinks.

What does St. Albray cheese taste like? This is not a cheese for the cheese newbie. This cheese has a combination of barnyard and ammonia smell. It tastes milder, and better, than it smells. The paste (inside) is soft, mild with eyes (little air pockets). The consistency is interesting … somewhere between firm and runny. The rind is edible. If you find the flavor too strong then avoid the rind and enjoy the paste.

Saint Albray Cheese

Saint Albray Cheese – from France

I have a friend who likes this cheese a lot. It’s one of his favorites. In fact he introduced me to it. The first time I tried Saint Albray I couldn’t decide if I liked it or not. It smelled so bad. The taste was such a pleasant surprise. I found the ammonia off putting, then I came to terms with it. Then I liked it. It was a cheese tasting roller coaster ride. When the tasting was over I wiped the sweat from my brow and proclaimed – “Wow that was fun!  Let’s go again”.

My advice is to avoid storing this cheese. It will really stink up a refrigerator. Just bring it home, let it come to room temperature and and then enjoy it. It pairs well with Fig spread.

Castello Alps Selection – Chiantino Cheese

Castello Alps Selection Chiantino Cheese

Castello Alps Selection Chiantino Cheese

I was recently invited to try Castello’s new Bavarian Alps Selection Cheeses. As I am easily seduced by new cheeses, I headed to my local Longo’s Market (at 3163 Winston Churchill Blvd, Mississauga, ON) to do some cheese shopping.  There I discovered Chiantino and Weissbeir, two of the four cheeses in Castello’s new Alps Selection. I decided to try the Chiantino.

Castelllo Chiantino Cheese

Castelllo Chiantino Cheese

Castello describes their Chiantino cheese as follows:

Chiantino: A mild and slightly sweet cheese with hints of dark chocolate, fruitiness and dryness of Chianti. It is perfect as a snack with olives or baked figs, and is great for melting recipes or with green asparagus.

This cheese is imported into Canada. It is a product of Germany.

Chiantino is a cow’s milk cheese with a wonderful deep red rind. At first, my children thought the red was a wax coating. They had seen wax on Gouda cheeses that we have tried. I explained that the red on Chiantino is from Chianti wine which is wiped on the cheese every few days as it ages. This cheese is aged 12 weeks.  The use of the Italian Chianti wine used in making this cheese explains the name … Chiantino.

The rind is attractive but Castello does not suggest eating it. Eating small quantities certainly won’t cause any harm, but the recommendation is to use this rind for flavouring in soups and sauces.  Then discard the rind, like a bay leaf, prior to eating.
The rind can be frozen and used later.

Castello Chiantino Cheese

Castello Chiantino Cheese

What does Castello Chiantino taste like? You might expect this cheese to have a strong wine taste.  It does not. The hint of grapes or wine is very, very subtle. It has a semi-firm paste (the inside). It is mildly sweet with a mellow alpine dairy goodness.  There is no bite or tang.  The red wine rind is the highlight of this cheese. It’s a beautiful accent that dresses the cheese up and makes it look … sophisticated. The cheese is smooth, not grainy and it will melt in your mouth.

Admittedly, I seem to like most cheeses that I try. So I decided to have my wife and two kids try it. The result? Everybody liked it. That usually does not happen. It means Chiantino is probably a cheese that most people would enjoy. I did.

Full Disclosure: I picked this cheese up at Longo’s but Castello paid the bill for me.

Riopelle Triple Cream Cheese from Quebec

Riopelle Cheese

Riopelle Cheese

I picked up a piece of Riopelle during a recent visit to my neighbourhood cheese shop, Goat Inc. in Port Credit (Ontario).

Riopelle is an artisinal Canadian cheese produced by Fromagerie Île-aux-Grues just east of Quebec City. It is named after a famous Canadian artist Jean-Paul Riopelle (1923-2002) who agreed to lend his name to the cheese shortly before his death. I found an image of one of his most famous pieces of artwork on Callah’s blog. This painting, Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg, is on display at the Musee des beaux-arts du Quebec  (French for “National Museum of Fine Arts of Quebec”) in Quebec City.

Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg by Jean Paul Riopelle Art - image by Callah

Hommage à Rosa Luxemburg by Jean Paul Riopelle - image by Callah

This cheese is made in 1.4 kg wheels. And here is a heart warmer; I discovered that for each wheel of Riopelle cheese purchased, one  dollar goes to a foundation that promotes higher education for the the children of Isle-aux-Grue, Quebec, Canada where this cheese is made.

Isn’t it amazing how every cheese has a story?

This is a soft “brie style” triple cream cheese with a white bloomy rind and a rich creamy center. It is aged 60 days and is best eaten when “ripe”.

What does Riopelle cheese taste like? Riopelle is a smooth and creamy cheese at room temperature. It is mild and more delicate than some other triple cream cheeses that I have found. It has a delicate buttery flavour. I spread this cheese on Carr’s Table Water Crackers.

Joe Ambrus, the Somolier at Goat Inc. recommends pairing Riopelle with either Shiraz (Red Wine) or Montrachet (White Wine).

This is a safe bet on a cheese board and has a particularly interesting story behind it. I will feature this cheese on my “Socially Responsible” cheese board.

Niagara Gold is Buttery and Bold!

This weekend, I stopped in at Goat Inc. to look for some new cheeses to try. One cheese caught my eye on appearance. It was a beautiful deep gold with it’s glowing color making it a standout.

Niagara Gold Cheese

Niagara Gold is a Canadian made artisanal cheese produced by the Upper Canada Cheese Company located in Jordon Station, Ontario, Canada. They are located in the heart of the Niagara wine region. The Company was started in 2005 to produce Artisanal cheese from a nearby herd of Guernsey cows.

Guernsey Cow - Google Images

The herd of Guernsey’s supplying Upper Canada Cheese Company is one of only a half dozen Guernsey herds in Canada. The cows are unique to Canada and the resulting cheese is unique. Guernsey cows produce an extremely rich milk that makes wonderfully rich cheese.

The Niagara Gold cheese is a semi-soft, washed rind cheese. The cheeses are hand salted, hand turned and hand wrapped. They are cellar aged for five months.

How does Niagara Gold Cheese taste?

It has a smooth buttery flavour which transforms into a mellow earthy, nutty flavour. The Upper Canada Cheese Company website compares the Niagara Gold to Oka. I’m not sure that I agree with that. They are only loosely similar in my opinion because the Niagara Gold has much more pizazz. The gold color makes it stand apart. Niagara Gold is not pungent yet it delivers a fuller flavor. I simply found it more exciting than the Oka.

The Niagara Gold has instantly become one of my favorite Canadian Cheeses.