Best Baa Dairy Fergus, Ontario

If you find yourself up in the Fergus / Elora area this winter, make sure to stop in and buy some freshly made cheese direct from the Best Baa Cheese Dairy. Nicole Bzikot (daughter in-law to Elizabeth Bzikot) was kind enough to show me around and explain the cheese making process. Their story is inspiring and so is their cheese!

The pasteurizer where all the sheep milk is processed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is where the affinage begins. This used to be an autopsy table!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sheep Yogurt! This creamy treat won 1st place at the 2011 American Cheese Society Conference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Eweda and Eweda Cru. Please see my previous post for details.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mouton Rouge getting a rub down.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Brigitte was one of my purchases at the dairy shop. It’s not readily available but well worth the drive to get it at the perfect ripeness. Her rind has a pungent aroma of ammonia but once it hits your tongue the luxurious sweet, grassy paste makes you forgive the odour. The rind has a balanced bitterness with fine granules of salt from washing.

Nicole graciously sent me home with some walnuts from France which we ate alongside. The entire piece and a baguette was consumed in about 10 minutes.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

All photos by canadiancheese

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Jensen’s Very Old Cheddar

Photo by canadiancheese

This is one of the most deliciously complex Canadian cheddars I have ever tried. It starts out with an aroma of smokey bacon but upon first bite all I could taste was a refreshing pang of grapefruit ending in light dried fruit notes. It’s firm but melts on the tongue and has a lovely sharp bite. This would pair well with chutney and cured meats. I enjoyed it on a sandwich with polish kielbasa when I was short on time and needed a protein fill.

The Jensen family is now training their son to become the third generation cheese maker since their inception in 1925.

Best Baa Eweda Cru

Photo by canadiancheese

This is a great snacking cheese from one of my favourite dairy families.
Eweda Cru has a lightly sour start but finishes creamy and supple with
light citrus notes. It is made from British Milking Sheep up around the Fergus, Orangeville area. Local Mennonite farmers pool the milk and bring it back to the factory to be moulded in to works of art.
This cheese won Bronze at the Royal Winter Fair in 2010.
Elizabeth and her husband Eric founded Ewenity Dairy in 2001 but their cheese can be found under the name Best Baa.

Monforte Dairy Bliss with Tarragon

I picked up this cheese, known unofficially as “a-nise” cheese, partly due it’s liquorice notes and because it’s a-nice cheese. As far as I know, you can only buy it at Brickworks directly from Ruth- and not always available. I would like to request that she puts this cheese on the market for all to enjoy.

Photo by canadiancheese

 

This soft, bloomy rind cheese is rolled in tarragon which imparts anise,liquorice and lavender flavours that linger and mingle with the triple cream, velvety smooth, meaty, paste. This cheese is made in the spring with sheep milk from Monforte Dairy in the Stratford, Ontario area.

Fabulous on toasted or fresh baguette. I was drinking a Duggan’s Sorachi beer with it and didn’t find that it stole any of the flavours from the cheese. Probably better to stick to neutral alcohol such as Sauvignon Blanc.

Bella Casara Buffalo Mozzarella

Photo by canadiancheese

Buffalo’s milk cheese might be one of my favourite foods…with twice the fat of cow cheese it’s rich, milky, gummy and marshmallow like with grassy undertones . Pasta Filata style is, in my opinion, the best way to enjoy it. As per Jamie Oliver, I literally tear the ball open from the centre and rip small pieces off onto my salads. Pictured below is a salad from an obscure Jamie Oliver episode-Combine lettuce (arugula), prosciutto (get the good stuff), fresh Niagara peaches, mint leaves, olive oil with lemon dressing and Bella Casara Buffalo Mozzarella. It’s made from Ontario Buffalo milk so you can also feel good about supporting local dairies.
This may not be the season for peaches but the salad also does well without fruit. Drizzle a lavender infused or fruity honey as a substitute. The neutral nature of this cheese makes it easy to pair.
You can also create a more savoury and traditional salad with fresh tomatoes, basil and balsamic…or just eat it plain with a sprinkle of salt and pepper.