You Can’t Go Wrong with Baluchon

Baluchon – Canada

Quebec Baluchon Cheese

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.

Baluchon Cheese

Baluchon Cheese

This cheese is produced by Fromagerie F.X. Pichet in Sainte-Anne-de-la-Pérade, Quebec.

Fromagerie FX Pichet Logo

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.

Fromagerie F.X. Pichet Mouse

Fromagerie F.X. Pichet Mouse

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.

Mont Vully

Mont Vully Cheese

I had the opportunity to try some Mont Vully cheese this week while visiting my friend Mike. He had rounded up some good cheeses to try, and not the everyday stuff. I think he has “a source” or some kind of inside “cheese connection”.

Mont Vully is a cheese that comes from Switzerland. It is made at a small family dairy owned by Ewald Schafer in Cressier, a tiny village above the medieval town of Morat. The cheese is produced from raw milk. During the aging, the cheese is washed several times a week with Pinot Noir wine from the slopes of Mont Vully. The cheese reaches maturity after 10 to 20 weeks.

The rind is usually gold to red-brown in colour. The center is creamy yellow. It is semi hard with a smooth texture. It has a stronger smell than taste. It pairs well with Chardonnay.

You can recognize a wheel of Mont Vully cheese by its unique grape imprint on the top of the wheel.

Like Appenzeller, the Mont Vully is available in three grades; Classic, Bio and Reserve. The grades are a function of how long the cheese is aged. Classic is the freshest and Reserve is the most mature. Bio is aged in between. Mont Vully Bio was chosen the “Cheese of all Cheeses” at the 2006 Cheese Gala of the Swiss Cheese Championships by an international jury, beating out 436 other Swiss cheeses.

I would recommend this cheese for a cheese board. We tried it alongside Appenzeller and I found a lot of similarity between the two. It was interesting to have them side by side but I would not recommend putting them together on a cheese board because of the similarity.

Here is a link to the Mont Vully Website.

I liked it and it’s a winner. Thanks Mike and thank your “source” too!