With BC Day upon us, it seems suitable to focus on one of our great BC cheese makers.
Smit’s and Co.w are a family dairy with a focus on Gouda. Their Dutch heritage makes that a natural fit, and they do it extremely well. They have their own herd of cows, a mix of Holstein and Brown Swiss, that they milk for all the cow’s milk cheeses that they make. They also make a very tasty range of goat Gouda with goat’s milk from neighbouring farms.
The farm location in Chilliwack is beautiful, and it’s a great place to go for a visit. Their farm store is open Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 9 – 5. The Smits are also part of the Chilliwack Circle Farm Tour, which is an amazing way to spend a sunny summer day. You can visit the farms and purveyors on the tour and see what is happening in your own backyard. The site will tell you all about it, but as well as sampling some Gouda you could also visit a brewery, a natural honey shop, produce farms and a grain and flour mill. I’m sure after an action-packed day, you’d end up at home with your fridge full of great treats for dinner.
The Gouda made by Ron and Stephanie (with help from their 4 daughters, I’m sure), is a great example of a farmstead cheese. When you try large production Medium Aged Gouda, it tends to have a homogenous texture to it. The Gouda that the Smits make has a nice firm texture with a slightly open paste and small holes throughout. The taste is pleasantly sharp with a finish of dry hay. The cheese leaves a lovely rich taste on your palate; I’m sure this is a great indication of the quality of the milk, and the happiness of the cows.
Another delicious option is the aged goat Gouda which has that beautiful butterscotch taste that extra aged Goudas achieve. They do make several other flavoured Goudas as well as Quark, but the one cheese that is a big hit for us is the mild cow’s milk Gouda with truffle. It has a great subtle taste and the cheese is still a bit creamy, so it really lets the truffle shine.
It is really a pleasure to do business directly with cheese makers. It is a privilege to get the opportunity to deal with them on a regular basis and get to know about them and their passion for their craft. The Smits are certainly great ambassadors for their community.
Take this BC Day weekend to brush up on your BC cheeses, and appreciate the dedication of our local cheese makers.