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.

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Goat Inc. Cheese Shop

UPDATE: October 2012 – Goat Inc. has closed and is no longer in business.

I have discovered a cheese shop very close to my home in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada. I never new this place existed and it took me some time to find it using web search. They don’t have an active website that I could find. I found reference to a site http://www.goatinc.ca but it doesn’t work (at the time of this writing). I did come across some basic info on the store.

Located in the Village of Clarkson, at the southern tip of Mississauga, Goat Inc. Cheese Shoppe offers the finest of hand crafted, artisan cheeses and specialty foods from Canada and around the world.

Goat Inc. is an oasis of sensory pleasure, dedicated to the enjoyment of cheese. We normally carry between 70 to 90 cheeses, all of them carefully inspected for authenticity, quality and ripeness. Our customers are encouraged to sample our cheeses at their leisure and to ask questions about any aspect of our business.

Owner/Operator Joseph Alexander Ambrus is a certified Sommelier and is always available to offer his expertise and experience in pairing fine wines with your cheese selection, to make any occasion the PERFECT OCCASION.  Come in and meet Joe, and share his passion for fine foods and even finer wines.

Contact Us:
Joe Ambrus AKA “Head Cheese”
1744 Lakeshore Road West (at Clarkson Road North)
Mississauga, Ontario, Canada, L5J 4N8
Phone (905) 823-3353 Cell (416) 937-1422 Fax (905) 823-3354

It is located in a small mall with convenient parking. The shop is small but clean, well presented and has a comfortable ambiance.

The following ad is listed on the online Yellow Pages. But who uses the Yellow Pages anymore?

I also lifted this ad from a website.

The website Arthur’s Cellar (a wine importer in Ontario) had these kind words about Goat Inc.

Don’t be fooled by the name … Joe Ambrus has many varieties of wonderful cheese including Chèvre. Not only that, but he is a real master of matching the right cheese with the right wine. We visit Goat Inc. whenever we need great cheeses to go with our wines.  – Arthur’s Cellar

I also found a very nice web page on wine and cheese pairings that was prepared by “our resident wine and cheese expert, Joe Ambrus” the proprietor of Goat Inc.

UPDATE: Feb 5, 2011

I had the chance to visit Goat Inc. They specialize in one thing … cheese. They have a nice selection within their cheese case backed up with knowledgeable service and taste samples.

The Cheese Case at Goat Inc.

Their cheese offering does vary. They carry Beemester XO, Saint Agur, Niagara Gold, Frere Jacques and Chevre Noir to name a few.