Anthony Gismondi on Wine
Monday, December 27 2021

Looking Back Over 2021

By: Allison Spurrell
The Year in Cheese

It’s always fun at this time to think back over the things we enjoyed about the past year.

Although we had some transportation issues locally and some unexpected situations with imports, we still managed to have a rotation of delicious cheeses in the store.

I've listed some of my favourite new additions below, in no particular order:

  • Comtesse de la Madeleine – a rich, creamy buffalo milk cheese from Italy layered with a decadent layer of truffles.
  • Bluehorn Blue (pictured above) from our friends at Rogue Creamery in Oregon. These wheels are soaked in red wine during ageing, and the amazing fruity overtones sing. I love their cheeses, but somehow, I had never tried this one, and I love it.
  • Somport Fermier – is a semi-firm, raw cow’s milk tomme style cheese from the Pyrenees. Fantastic full flavour with a nice sharp finish. We’ve had lots of luck pairing it with various French reds.
  • La Bercail – is a semi soft sheep’s milk cheese from Quebec’s La Moutonnière. Their happy sheep make for a happy tasting experience with this lovely earthy wheel. They are a small farm, so it does have a small production, but that means we enjoy it all the more when it does arrive.
  • Cote d’Or – is a small soft mixed rind cheese from France. The dense creaminess is amazing, and it reminds me of some other French favourites like Montegnard. Perfect texture and the 150 grams is the percent size for sharing….. or not!
  • Manchego Selecion 1969 – is a raw milk version of the famous Spanish sheep’s milk cheese. The taste is nutty and sharp but still with a lovely hint of the fruity flavour of the sheep’s milk present.
  • Rock Star Cheddar – this cave-aged cheddar made by Snowdonia in Wales has all the richness of its big brother Black Bomber, but with an added little tangy finish. Fabulous for an after-dinner nibble with a small glass of port!
  • Appenzeller Creamy – a younger, richer textured version of the classic Swiss cheese Appenzeller, it is a great cheese for a platter. It has some nutty tastes you would expect of a mountain cheese but with a little grassy finish and a much creamier texture. However, it still has a great bite.
  • Appoline aux Fleurs – is a beautiful fresh goat cheese covered in flower petals with a rose petal jelly in the center. A lovely addition to your plate for its good looks and tastiness.
  • Tuyau de Poêle – is a beautiful fluffy, tangy goat made in Quebec by Fromagerie Ruban Bleu. I have to say I can only vaguely attempt to pronounce the name, which I understand means “stovepipe.” The cheese is coated in ash and is split with a layer of ash, so the name makes perfect sense. Even if you can’t ask for it by name, it’s worth trying. Another of their cheeses, M. Emile, was a favourite on top of our showcase this year. Nice work! 

I hope you have your list of the favourite new cheeses you tried this year. We’ll look forward to trying some other great creations in 2022. Happy New Year!

Written By: Allison Spurrell
Allison Spurrell
Allison Spurrell

Allison Spurrell stocks the larders of the city’s finest restaurants and your fridge alike, through les amis du FROMAGE, cheese shops in the Kitslano and Strathcona neighbourhoods in Vancouver which she runs with Joe Chaput. Their shelves are filled with 400 cheeses, including local, raw milk French, Italian and other specialties. They also sell foie gras, pâtés, crackers, biscuits, varietal olive oils, vinegars and other specialty food items and their kitchen in Strathcona prepares popular frozen taken away meals. Les amis du FROMAGE has received Vancouver Magazine's Restaurant Award as a top food supplier to Vancouver’s best restaurants and hotels. Allison is a proud member of Confrerie les Chevalier du Taste Fromage de France. To buy cheese visit: les amis du FROMAGE in Kitslano - 1752 West 2nd Ave | Tel (604) 732-4218 or Strathcona - 843 East Hastings St | Tel 604-253-4218 | www.buycheese.com.