As you may know by now, I am a huge fan of soft washed rind cheese. The history of trappist cheese is always rich with tales of tradition, taking your time and reaping what you sow.
14 Arpents and other cheese by Fromagerie Médard started production in 2006 but the history of the dairy dates back to 1881. As per their website the following is an account of the farms history. “The ancestor of the family, the widow Emilie Claveau Charlevoix, settled with his family on lot # 21 at St. Gedeon in Lac-Saint-Jean. This land was given to him by the state under the law of Honoré Mercier, legislation that was established at the time to populate regions. It included giving $ 100 (an astronomical sum at the time) or 50 acres of land to families with 12 living children and more. That’s when the son of Emilia, (MÉDARD side) cleared the land, constructed buildings and began to cultivate the land.
Since, from generation to generation, the farm was transferred from father to son. In 1986, Normand Côté (fifth generation) acquired the title. In 25 years together, Madeleine Normand formed several companies including two farms and a nursery.”
Thankfully, there are still two children in succession who are interested in keeping the cheese making tradition alive because I would really miss this cheese. It has an aroma of baked, fresh white bread, yeast and malt with a super creamy soft paste that ranges from mild nuttiness to light fruity such as pear skin. The picture above does not do justice to the lovely, soft peach coloured rind.
The Médard dairy is located north of Quebec City and welcomes visitors. It’s on my list of places to drop by.