The Dairy Farmers of Canada declared Quality Cheese Ricotta as the Grand Champion at the 8th edition of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix last week. The Ricotta made history as the first fresh cheese and the first cheese from Ontario to be honoured as a Grand Champion.  A jury of top Canadian food industry experts selected it from 19 category winners. Sponsored and hosted every two years by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix celebrates Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.

“The jury found this Ricotta refined, delicate and well-balanced,” said Phil Bélanger, Canadian Cheese Grand Prix jury chairman. “It demonstrates that a fresh cheese can be as sophisticated as an aged one.”

Quality Cheese Inc.’s Ricotta is lauded for its creamy texture and milky aroma. Quality Cheese manufactures, distributes and retails Italian speciality cheeses and boasts a team representing four generations of cheese making. Their products are so popular that fans flock to their Vaughan, Ontario location to buy the cheese fresh.

The Grand Champion and 19 category winners were selected from a record 225 cheese entries submitted by cheese makers from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia. The submissions were then narrowed down to 58 finalists by the jury in February.

“This year’s winners offer positive proof that Canada is producing world-class cheeses,” said Bélanger. “The time has come to celebrate the innovative excellence and proud tradition of Canadian cheese making.”

Indeed, Canada’s vibrant and unique cheese making craft has evolved to the point that new types of cheese are continually being added to the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. This year, two new categories were introduced: “Gouda” and “Fresh Cheese with Grilling Properties”.  Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Jury members tasted, touched and smelled each cheese, evaluating them for appearance, flavour, colour, texture and body, and salt content before determining the following winners.

GRAND CHAMPION: Ricotta, Quality Cheese Inc., ON

The 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Category Winners are:

1. Fresh Cheese Ricotta, Quality Cheese Inc., ON
2. Fresh Cheese with grilling properties Queso Fresco Cheese, Latin Foods Inc., AB
3. Soft Cheese with bloomy rind Le Noble, Fromagerie Domaine Féodal Inc., QC
4. Semi-soft Cheese Tre Stelle Feta Cheese, Arla Foods Inc., ON
5. Washed OR mixed rind Cheese (Soft, Semi-soft and Firm) Le Mamirolle, Fromagerie Éco-Délices, QC
6. Firm Cheese Gunn’s Hill Five Brothers, Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese, ON
7. Gouda*
*This category was opened during the judging 
process due to the number of cheeses entered. 
This allowed the jury to evaluate the qualifying 
cheeses according to criteria specific to this category.
Grizzly Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB
8. Swiss-type Cheese Louis D’or 18 months, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC
9. Pasta Filata Not enough entries.
10. Mozzarella (Ball, Brick or Cylinder) Tre Stelle Mozzarella Cheese, Arla Foods Inc., ON
11. Blue Cheese (various rinds, with or without veining) Bleu d’Élizabeth, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC
12. Flavoured Cheese with added non-particulate flavourings Applewood Smoked Cheddar, Cows Creamery, PEI
13. Flavoured Cheese with added particulate solids and flavourings Raclette de Compton au poivre, Fromagerie La Station, QC
14. Mild Cheddar (aged 3 months) L’Ancêtre Organic Mild Cheddar, Fromagerie L’Ancêtre, QC
15. Medium Cheddar (aged 4 to 9 months) Medium Cheddar, Maple Dale Cheese, ON
16. Old Cheddar (aged from 9 months to a year) Cheddar 1 year, Fromagerie Perron, QC
17. Aged Cheddar (more than 1 year up to 3 years) Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Cows Creamery, PEI
18. Aged Cheddar (more than 3 years) 5 Year Aged Cheddar, The Black River Cheese Company Ltd., ON
19. Farmhouse Cheese Grizzly Gouda, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB
20. Organic Cheese Bleu d’Élizabeth, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC


SOURCE Dairy Farmers of Canada (Marketing)

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