canadian cheese

Figured I would start off on the right foot …

Knock Knock!

Who’s there?


Cheese who?

Cheese a cute girl!

Yup. This one is gonna be that bad. But I couldn’t resist. Oh. And please note the picture to the right … “say cheese” … ah … cheese humor. The best comedians in the world couldn’t make up stuff like this.

And, yes, I am really writing about Canadian cheese.

Well. Actually I am writing about what someone else wrote about Canadian cheese (just wanted to make sure no one thought I had completely lost it).


I was inspired by … uhmmmmmm … Canadian cheese (this isn’t a joke … this is serious shit in the world of cheese … think Vermont cheese … Wisconsin cheese … France and cheese … and … well … Canadian cheese!)

(yup … no shit).


Let’s take a second about how I got inspired to write about Canadian cheese.

I met the person who wrote the ‘pocket guide to Canadian cheese’ while on a Caribbean island.

(oh … the people you can meet if you are sitting alone at a bar …)

Yup (again).

I was fascinated that someone had come to a Caribbean island to write a book about Canadian cheese. Let alone they had actually elected to write about cheese.


But not any cheese.

Canadian cheese.

And the book is a pocket guide (sitting right next to “what to do on the island” and the island maps).


All that said. Gosh. Where to begin?

Let’s begin at the beginning.

The foreword is titled “cheese and me.”

It is in this section where you are immediately profiled … because it sets the stage with ‘like elite cheesemongers’ (I would hate to meet a non-elite cheesemonger in a back alley) and a reference to the “cheese renaissance.”


I feel compelled to talk about what it takes to be an elite cheesemonger.

I vaguely remember the Mongols were ‘mongers’ of something. But cheese? Well.  Oddly enough (and I am too lazy at the moment to research so this is from memory) I believe the Mongols put dairy products under their saddle to ferment it for future … well … eating.


No wonder the Mongols kicked the shit out of everyone.  They were eating fermented horse saddle cuisine. Tasty stuff I am sure.

Sadly … I am not sure a Canadian has ever been in the Mongol category of mongers, therefore, they created their own segment of mongers … cheesemongers.

Ah. But, to be on the safe side, they become elite cheesemongers (I believe most of them have mansions in upper Newfoundland).


Being a cheesemonger is tougher than you think in Canada (I actually did some research).

This comes from the Cheese Lover blog:

I am amazed how fantastic Canadian cheese is – both the quality and the way chefs use it. This despite the fact that Canada, like the US, bans the production of young raw milk or unpasteurized cheeses. However many of the most interesting cheeses come from Quebec whose government has recently reversed that position to allow the sale of raw milk cheeses under the age of 60 days.

Cheesemakers in Ontario also labour under the additional handicap of not being free to choose the style of cheese they make. If they want to use cows’ milk (the restriction doesn’t apply to sheep and goats’) they must be able to prove to the province’s Dairy Farmers’ Association that no similar cheese is being made. Popular styles are on allocation so you can’t for example make a cheddar if the cheddar quota is already taken up.



First … the cheddar quota is taken up ? … quotas on canadian cheese? Oh my. And Americans think their government is too involved?

Anyway. Second <and most importantly>. Someone writes a blog solely on cheese <must be a monger> … and knows about the cheese quota?

(by the way … I am still slightly stunned, and amused, there is a quota on cheddar cheese  … not just any cheese … cheddar cheese … what’s up with that).


Once you have gone through mongerer training (lots of gnashing of teeth and multiple meals of plain limburger sandwiches) you become an official cheese mongerer and probably become qualified to monger cheese and wear foam cheese hats and … well … write a pocket guide on cheese.


Just in case you may have missed it.  The Italian renaissance. The French renaissance. The Canadian cheese renaissance.


(Its probably because they have the worlds nicest cheese that you didn’t even notice it)

But, no shit, in this pocket guide you are exposed to the Cheese Renaissance <no dates actually provided> and the Mona Lisa of Canadian cheese. Nope. I did not make that up.  Apparently this Mona Lisa has some kind of rind (and possibly the hint of a smile).

Moving on <quickly>.


The ladder of cheese appreciation.

Yup. They have a ladder.

And not a one rung ladder but rather one of those extendable ladders that can reach the roof of a three story house.

You gotta REALLY appreciate cheese to climb this frickin ladder.



The raw milk question.


The big question. Can raw milk be made in canada?

Can a woodchuck chuck wood?

Do Canadian geese shit?

Do moose make milk (I don’t know what a female moose is called … Moosette. Meese? … are any of the royal canadian mounties gay?)

Big important questions.


Soft washed rind cheese.


Would anyone want to eat unwashed cheese? (rind or not).

Personally I am hoping canada has good personal hygiene and clean everything (not just their soft rind cheese). But I am pleased that whenever they wash their rind cheese they do it softly.


Firm Canadian cheese.<note: I am skipping any inappropriate jokes about firm cheese>

A quote from the pocket guide:

“Substantial dependable and honest – just like Canadians, eh?”

I cannot make this stuff up <I am not that good>.

I am not sure I can add to anything beyond this quote. It kind of says it all.


Chapter 8.

Blue cheese.

“Don’t think just because you got your cheese to the curing room that the hard work is over. It’s not, you can still make a poxy whores melt of it. Imagine what would happen if even a single blue mould spore got into the Gold room? Total disaster even at that late stage in the proceedings. Blue mould in the right place is a gift from god but in the wrong place it spreads like cancer. “

Cmon. Priceless prose.


example of a poxy whore

Poxy whores melt?

Dickens only dreamed of writing this about old England let alone blue cheese.

In fact.  I vaguely remember a line like this in Oliver (or porgy and bess) neither of which is Dickens … but has to count for something.


And flipping from a ‘gift from god’ to ‘cancer’ is hyperbole at its best (or worst).

Too much good stuff.

And whoda thunk it would be about canadian cheese? (not me)


Having written about cheese, elite cheesmongers, cheese rind … I thought I would end on the challenges cheese creates for leadership:

“How can you govern a country with two hundred and forty six varieties of cheese?”Charles De Gaulle

Who would have thought cheese, from anywhere, could create so much discussion & thought.

Written by Bruce