Cheeses

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IMG_2633The European Pantry has a wide selection of imported and domestic cheeses. With access to over 1000 different cheeses, we look for unique cheeses that will make exceptional additions to your cheese board. Our competitively priced cheeses come in a variety of sizes and formats to meet all your cheese needs. Come in for a sample of an old favourite or something new! Want to serve cheese? Click here for some cheese board ideas: 

 

Swiss ~ German Style Cheeses

  • Emmental – a hard cheese with fine large air bubbles, slightly aromatic and sweet with the nutty nuances of hazelnuts.
  • Gruyere – a hard cheese with few or very small bubbles.  Gruyere’s fully developed flavour  is both creamier and more piquant than Emmental. Its finish is reminiscent of walnuts.
  • German Butterkase – a mild creamy tasting cheese popular as a bread and butter breakfast cheese.  A nice foil to the stronger cheeses on your cheese platter.
  • Cambozola – If you like brie and a mild blue, this is the cheese for you.  A blend of Gorgonzola and Camembert,  spread this soft and creamy cheese on a robust cracker.
  • Tilsit – This German cheese is wonderful on hearty wholewheat or rye breads, cubed in salads, melted in sauces or on potatoes or burgers.  Serve with a dark beer.  Like many European cheeses Tilsit has its own interesting history.
  • “Champignon” Brie & Camenbert – These classic dessert cheeses come packed in a tin…just open the tin and let the cheese stay at room temperature for one hour to enjoy it at its peak. Both are perfect for rounding off a meal or for serving between meals with crusty bread or plain crackers. Imported from Germany.
  • Limburger – Don’t let its reputation fool you… its bite is much gentler than its bark.  The cheese is most often served in the limburger sandwich. After three months, when the cheese has ripened, the cheese can be easily spread on firm-textured 100% rye bread. Add a large, thick slice of onion and some European mustard. Serve the sandwich with strong black coffee or lager beer.
  • Gunn’s Hill 5 Brothers – An Ontario artisan cheese that offers a unique blend between Swiss Appezeller and Gouda. Shep Ysselstein, the cheese artisan at Gunn’s Hill, studied cheese making in Switzerland.

Scandinavian Cheeses

  • Snofrisk –  a cream cheese that is sublimely white and whose name means “fresh snow” in Norwegian. Easily spreadable, this cheese is made with goat’s milk (80%) and cow’s milk (20%). Its fresh and lightly biting taste make it the ideal ingredient for any recipe or hors-d’oeuvre. It is the perfect choice for a first experience with goat’s milk cheese. Think of cream cheese mixed with clotted cream!
  • Jarlsburg ~ Norwegian variant of Emmental; a mild cheese with a nutty sweet flavour dating back to the Middle Ages produced using the rich summer milk from the higher pastures. Pleasant on bread, useful in the kitchen, great on a cheese board paired with a fresh white wine.
  • Snow Queen Gjetost ~ another Norwegian cheese pronounced “Yight-ost”. Made by heating whey until it thickens and the colour of caramel. It’s unusual taste is reminiscent of toffee. This is traditionally a breakfast cheese sliced thinly on bread or a cracker and dunked in a hot cup of tea or milky coffee. We recommend including it on a dessert platter with other dessert cheeses, nuts and fruit.
  • Havarti ~ named for the farm of Hanne Nielsen, the nineteenth century Danish cheese maker, this is always a safe inclusion on a cheese platter for guests who best enjoy a fresh mild cheese.  When combined with herbs or jalapeno pepper it also adds colour and extra interest.
  • Castello Extra Creamy Danish Blue ~ The description “extra creamy” is fully warranted for this 70% cheese. Add the piquant taste of blue and you will want to serve it with a full bodied wine with a bit of sweetness but not too much tannin. Be sure to add fruit and nuts to your cheese board. Hanne Nielsen is also responsible for developing this imitation of Roquefort  which she won her a medal  in 1800’s. Read more.
  • Lappi ~ This mild cheese hails from the Lapland area of Finland. This naturally lactose free cheese is from the Emmental family of cheeses but is made with pasteurized partially skimmed milk. Traditionally a staple bread cheese, it is very adaptable in cooking.
  • Esrom ~ less known than other Danish cheeses, this was originally a “monks cheese” before cheese making became a mechanized process. At that time cheese was a commodity of exchange. A lost recipe was found in 1935 and the cheese was revived. Being a washed rind cheese, the rind is pale yellow and sticky with a strong fragrant aroma.  Depending on age the cheese will vary from creamy and mild to a full flavoured mature cheese which can stand its own with a hearty ale. Or serve it with a mellow fruity wine.  Be sure to include it on any smorgasbord.
  • Castello Extra Creamy Danish Blue ~ voted the world’s best in 1994 out of 590 other cheeses, this is a rich, mild blue. Pair with figs, pears, olives or nuts. Melt it over a burger or on a juicy steak. Robust enough to hold its own with baked garlic but gentle enough to share the stage with tarragon in your favourite recipes.

Blues Festival: Click here for a review of our Blue Cheeses and recommended Niagara wine pairings.

French Cheeses

  • Brie Fermier – Farm made brie is still produced throughout France. Our Brie Normanville is made by iconic cheesemaker E. Graindorge in Normandy. Reminiscent of camembert with a fully developed mature flavour, it is rich with forest aromas and mushrooms. Serve with a robust red wine or a white wine such as Pinot Gris or Gewurtztraminer
  • Comte Juraflore Reserve Arnaud AC– This very ancient cheese originates in eastern France south of Alsace. Quality is indicated on the side of the cheese. A brown band indicates an average cheese. The best cheese will be marked with a green band and cow bells. The flavour varies depending on age and season. Summer cheeses with carry the smell of grass and alpine flowers whereas winter cheese will bring to mind hay and hazelnuts.
  • Ossau-Iraty AC – The most famous hard sheep cheese from the Pyrenees. The natural rind is whitish-grey to yellow-orange. The cheese is firm and dense with no bubbles.  The aroma and flavour will transport you to the Bearnaise/Basque countryside where wild herbs, flowers, berry brambles grow rampant. A wonderful table cheese on thick slices of rustic bread served with hearty soups but it also deserves a place on your cheese platter. Uncork a dry or sweet white wine or open a strawberry blondie or handcrafted cottage beer.
  • St. Agur- Imported from France, this luscious, very soft, extra creamy blue spreads like butter. The flavour of St. Agur can vary from mild to strong depending on how long it has aged.  Not as salty as most blue cheeses…
  • Délice de Bourgogne ~ A triple cream Brie made by blending full fat cow’s milk with crème fraîche… so soft and creamy you can spread it; Made by Fromagerie Lincet in the Burgundy region of France. More complex than many triple crème cheeses, it has a white, bloomy and pungent rind with a paste that is rich, creamy, and buttery with tangy notes. Pair it with Champagne or Ciders and Wheat Beers.  Try spreading it on something unexpected like a walnut bread.
  • St Albray ~ A rich, mellow but less intense form of Camembert from the Aquitaine region of France. Serve Saint Albray with a Pinot Noir or Chianti. It also goes well with white or nut breads.
  • St. Paulin ~  A soft buttery cheese that will melt in your mouth with a nutty finish. This Trappist monks’ cheese is Quebec’s version of the French Port Salut. Aged in the original cellars of the OKA Abbey. Serve with fruit and a light wine. Sometimes compared to Hungarian Trappista cheese.

Balkan Style Cheeses

Feta is a. P.D.O. (Protected Designation of Origin) product meaning that to be called Feta it must orginate in Greece, specifically from the areas of Thrace, Macedonia, Epirus and Thessaly, Central Greece, the Peloponnese or the island of Lesbos. It must also be made primarily of sheep’s milk with up to 30 percent of goat’s milk. Currently, we carry only Feta-style cheeses.

  • Balkan style Crumbly “Feta”– Our cow’s milk feta has just the right amount of saltiness to make your salads extra special. It is also great on pizza, in your lasagne, added to potato dishes…there are no end of uses for this versatile cheese!
  • “Kajmak” style creamy “Feta” – Another great addition Balkan addition to the table. In Bosnia they mix one part feta, 2 parts sour cream and 2 parts cream cheese for a spread that they serve with lepinja bread and cevapcici sausage. Click here for two more great recipe ideas.
  • Bulgarian Sheep “Feta” ~ Crumbly, salty with a tart almost lemony tone this brined cheese can crown a salad or make a dip that will impress on your table.

Semi-Soft Washed Rind Cheeses

Washed rind cheeses are known as the “stinky” cheeses. The smell of each cheese is dependent on the type of culture used in its making.  As these cheeses ripen their rinds are washed to keep them moist. They may be washed in port, beer, wine or salt water but this aging process intensifies their aroma. However strong the smell, the flavour of the cheese itself may be very mild.  For more information on cheese making click here.

  • Oka – a mild cheese with a legendary and distinct aroma, it offers irresistible and subtle flavours of hazelnut and butter.  Discover all the Oka cheeses!
  • Oka Classique – made from specially selected wheels that are aged over 60 days in the original cellars of the Cistercian Abbey located in Oka. This extended ripening period as well as additional washing of its rind adds to its maturity and give Oka Classique its pungent taste and characteristic aroma.
  • Oka Artisan – artfully combines the traditional OKA taste with the tantalizing flavour and distinct  look of a European-style honeycombed cheese.  The best of both worlds on your plate.
  • Le Douanier  ~ a specialty cheese developed by Fritz Kaiser after he emigrated to Quebec from his family’s dairy farm in Switzerland and apprenticing for 4 years in dairy production and cheese-making. Inspired by the French ash marked cheese, Morbier, the distinctive line of grey-blue ash in Le Douanier has special significance for the cheese maker who plies his trade near the US-Canadian border.  The name translates to “customs officer”  and the ash symbolizes the friendly border nearby. You will find the paste, the washed rind and the ash all contribute to 3 unique flavours in a cheese that is described as creamy with aromas of fruit and nuts. Pair it with un-oaked Chardonnay, Rosé, and dry reds.
  • Mont Jacob ~ Made with pasteurized cow milk from the Saquenay Lac-St-Jean area, this semi-soft washed rind cheese has an open body, smooth texture and complex lingering buttery sweetness; slightly tangy to sour with a finish that will remind you of nuts and dry fruit. This cheese always impressed whenever we put it on our tasting table. We suggest serving it with a crisp fruity Riesling, a dry Savignon blanc, light reds like Pinot Noir or serve with tart fruit like apples. Niagara wine suggestion.

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Dutch Style Cheeses

  • Gouda: mild, medium, aged, extra aged, or with cumin ~ Gouda, a highly under rated cheese, is more correctly a category of cheese that varies greatly from one producer to another; The difference between a young Gouda and one that has been aged is so great that they almost constitute as different cheeses. Young Gouda’s creamy mildness will melt from the heat of your toast. Aged Goudas will surprise you with their complex flavours & make great additions to many recipes.
  • Lactose Free Gouda ~ mild, cumin, jalapeno or smoked
  • Mountain Oak: Wild Nettle ~ The van Bergeijks make award winning artisan cheeses near New Hamburg, Ontario. This firm cheese offers wonderfully complex flavour, especially at room temperature. Serve with fresh pears.
  • Edam ~expect a mild, slightly sweet taste with a hint of nuts in younger cheeses. As it matures it becomes stronger and dryer: a great cheese for grating & cooking. Our smoked Edam is always a hit on cheese trays.
  • Cantenaar ~ a delicious full flavour cheese containing 40% less fat & 25% less salt.  Great cooking cheese that melts well and is a wise addition to a healthy lifestyle.
  • Cablanca Goat ~ rich but mild flavour; people are surprised to learn it is made with goats’ milk. It’s almost pure white colour contrasts nicely with other more colourful cheeses on a platter; easy to slice cheese
  • Landana:  Sheep; Walnut; Tomato & Olive; Kokos ~ Each of these Landana cheeses are great on their own or as part of a cheese platter.

Cheddar Style Cheeses

  • Coastal Cheddar ~ One of our most popular aged cheddars. Hails from the Ford farm in Dorset. Aged about 15 months it is described as a rugged mature cheddar.
  • Applewood Smoked Cheddar ~ from the birth place of cheddar, this soft, gently smoked cheese is rolled in paprika before it is cut. Although difficult to grate it is a wonderful addition to any cheese platter.
  • Cahill Cheddar with Guinness ~ According to the Cahill family this cheese was the result of a lucky drunken mistake.  Dark Guinness is added to cheese curds to make a cheese with a marbled appearance.  The Guinness also imparts a somewhat caramelized flavour to the cheese. Adds wonderful visual contrast as well as an interesting flavour note to your cheese platter.
  • Cahill Cheddar with Irish Whiskey ~ Whereas the Guinness cheddar is firm, somewhat crumbly and makes a bold visual statement on a cheese platter, this cheese is a shy yellow and has a soft consistent texture.  The whiskey sweetens the cheese and gives it a wonderful finish.
  • Irish Reserve Cheddar ~ You can taste that this cheese is made from the milk of grass fed cows.  Aged for 2 years, its flavour is robust but also complex.
  • Lancashire ~ One of cheddar’s cousins, Lancashire originates in the north country of England.  Our Lancashire probably qualifies as “Crumbly Lancashire” with a strong country flavour.
  • Red Leicester ~ Pronounced “Lester” the cheese would be easy to mistake for an orange cheddar but like Lancashire it is more of a cousin to cheddar.  The flavour is mature and tangy. Coloured with annato it is a great cooking cheese, especially for Welsh rarebit.
  • Dubliner ~ One more cheddar cousin, this aged cheese is reminiscent of Parmesan and will accord itself well in any recipe that calls for the other.
  • Lincolnshire Poacher ~ a true farm cheese developed by the Jones brothers on Ulceby Grange in hilly land between the North Sea and the fens.  The brothers only use milk from their own cows fed only with locally raised feed as much of which as possible that is organic. The Jones have blended the tradition of cheddar with that of Swiss mountain cheeses to create a truly unique cheese. what you might expect if French Comte swept a sweet cheddar damsel off her feet on a country dance floor.
  • Avonlea Cloth Wrapped ~ Great cheddar doesn’t have to be made in the British Isles. You will be transported to PEI when you smell this aged cheddar.  It’s earthy smell will remind you of baked potatoes. Not surprising since it is made in our smallest province but you won’t find potatoes on the ingredient list. Winner of numerous awards this cheese has its origins in the Orkney Islands north of Scotland.
  • Chevre Noir:  Marvelous 100% goat (Chevre) milk cheddar protected in black (Noir) wax. Low temperature pasteurization of the milk and natural aging one year deliver a mature cheddar flavour with caramel butter accent and a bit of grain. Consistent winner of many Canadian and International Awards.  Serve with medium to full bodied reds like Meritage, Cabernet Franc, or Baco Noir
  • Sartori’s Bellavitano Raspberry Cheddar ~ A reserve artisan cheddar that is marinated in a homemade Raspberry Ale. See More…
  • Satori’s Bellavitano Espresso Cheddar ~ Another piece of art from the Satori family. See More…

Other British Style Cheeses

  • White Stilton with Mango and Ginger ~ I have read that white Stilton is “nothing more than an immature “Blue” Stilton that has not yet acquired it blue veining.”  but this cheese will beg to differ.  This is a dessert or breakfast cheese…sweet but fascinating with its addition of pieces of dehydrated mango and ginger. It’s been described as the type of cheese you take into a room all by yourself so you don’t have to share.  You can also try White Stilton with lemon!
  • Wensleydale with Cranberries ~ Another dessert cheese but with it’s own unique flavour. Wensleydale traces its origin back to Cistercian monks who followed William the Conqueror to England. Mild but crumbly, it has a sweet yet tangy flavour. Dipped in cranberry red wax it makes a tasty but also colourful addition to a cheese platter at any time of year but especially at Christmas.
  • Coombe Castle Sticky Toffee Cheese – Is it a cheese or a candy? read more

 

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