Blue Juliette has captured another admirer…she is pungent and earthy with lots of mushroom and soil flavours on the exterior and an ultra creamy paste that I chose to pair with my fig crackers from The Fine Cheese Co. and Stasis Preserves Black Walnuts in honey. Her craggy, natural rind is unusual to see on a surface ripened, soft cheese but it makes a beautiful addition to a cheese plate that needs some earthy elements. Salt Spring Island Cheese Company has a no nonsense message about their business. “We simply believe that a better kind of food business is one that reflects both good community and good food, as the two frequently go together.” They have been making cheese since 1994 and craft their products from goat and sheep cheese. They are best known for goat chévre that has been molded to look like a créme caramel dessert and available in a variety of flavours ranging from Basil, Chili, Garlic, Lemon, Pepper, and White Truffle. The plain also comes decorated with an edible flower that makes the perfect hostess gift.
This is the beginning of beautiful marriage between Natural Pastures Aged Farmhouse cheese, pancetta and macaroni. We all need to take the time and make our own homemade mac and cheese so we can experiment with the wonderful melting qualities of real cheese.
Natural Pastures artisan cheeses are known for having a unique, robust taste attributed to the terroir
developed from the pristine soils, waters and pastures created in B.C’s spectacular Comox Valley.
They only use fresh milk produced on their selected Heritage Dairy Farms, which practice sustainable farming and animal stewardship. The designation means that the farmers must be good stewards of the land and raise animals that are stress free and live in a healthy environment. The cows feed on the local grass and herbs, perpetually watered by the Pacific Ocean. The combination of the different ecosystems make for a unique milk.
Aged Farmhouse smells like cultured butter and tastes like caramel and toffee. The texture is crumbly and firm but melts instantly and coats the entire mouth in sweet, full flavour.
As much as I love cheese, justifying a piece priced at more than $90/kg takes some convincing. I have been to the Kootenays in B.C and I know that it is one of the most pristine places in the world. The air is fresh and views are breathtaking. As the cheese monger at About Cheese explained that this is a true farmstead cheese, made from raw, organic milk, lovingly rubbed by hand, I could picture it perfectly. After letting it come to room temperature, I cut up some of my wild boar salumi and went to work on the cheese. Although it was a young piece, the sweet, nuttiness came through and paired well with the fatty, peppery meat.
Made using the age old recipe of a Beaufort d’Alpage from France, this could be a cheese worthy of it’s own designation. The list of wonderful things about this cheese is long and warrants visiting the Kootenay Alpine Cheese Co. website for the full details.