Tag Archives: Agropur

Toast Post: Let’s call it “camping Brie”

Strangely enticing.

Have jug o’ wine, need cheese pairing?  This was my first thought when I received a little package of new products from Agropur the other day.  Three of their fine cheeses have been packed into spreadable format.

OKA, Brie L’Extra and Champfleury can now be scooped out of little 100g, recyclable plastic containers and straight onto you baguette.  It is suggested they can also be used as dips or easily melted into sauces.  To be perfectly honest it was hard to get beyond “spreadable” without jumping to Cheez Whiz conclusions.

You may be licking your lips if you’re one of “those” that doesn’t eat the rind of a Brie.  Yet, even as I disapprove of such antics, I must assume that you actually like the taste of a “Brie” that is not also referred to as a “processed fine cheese spread” and does not list “cheddar” as an ingredient.  Which is what you’re getting here.  It tastes kind of fake.   Not horribly bad–I enjoy a Kraft singles in a grilled cheese afterall-but, it’s not fine cheese.

I spread “the spread” on my toast, topped it with pear and have an surprisingly enjoyable lunch.   Fast and tidy it was.  If someone melted this into a silken sauce over my broccoli I’d probably think it was awesome.  It would also fair brilliantly packed in a camping cooler.

But while it might be OK to call Katy Perry “fine cheese”,  it just ain’t gonna fly with these guys.  But if you’re looking for an upscale take on Laughing Cow, dig in and see what you think.

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Filed under Cheese/Cheese Related, Restaurants and Products, Toast Posts

Toast Post: American Cheese Society Conference, Day 2

Oka recipe creates Fromage de la Trappe in Manitoba.

Remember that film The Notebook?  The one starring Ryan Gosling that’s about a monk who made washed-rind cheeses and kept secret notebook of brining techniques?

That version of the film is actually an NFB doc called A Monks’ Secret.  (You won’t recognize Ryan Gosling–he plays the actual notebook.  Amazing immersion into a role.)  The doc is a story of Fromage de la Trappe, the cheese you see above.

Fromage de la Trappe comes from Manitoba and is made by Brother Alberic at the Cistercian Abbey Our Lady of the Praires.  The old recipe was passed to him by the Trappist monks in Quebec (at Oka Abbey de Notre-Dame-du-Lac).

The original Oka recipe was sold to Agropur in the 1981 when the Oka Abbey in Quebec could no longer sustain the demand for the cheese.  The factors may have been more than economical–monks do not want to be known as cheese makers, cheese making is simply a means to an end so perhaps the business was in conflict with their values.  It may have also been hard to find people to keep making cheese in general as they got older and their numbers got smaller.

Fromage de La Trappe (left) and Agropur Oka (right)

One of the original Oka cheesemakers, Father Oswald had kept a  notebook that was passed on to the Manitoba monastery when they started to make cheese as a source of income.  The caveat that came with the hand-written notes was that should the Monks ever go out of the cheese business or the Abbyy close, that notebook would be destroyed (never to fall into a non-religious hand).  This cheese is God’s business and no one else’s..Due to the craft secrets in notebook, what started out as a mediocore cheese, became something unique and flavourful.

Celebrating a ribbon for Louis D'Or

Celebrating Louis D’Or.

And I cannot sign off before leaving you with a picture of Jean Morin, celebrating after his raw, organic milk cheese Louise D’Or received 3rd place in the Best of Show category.  And we’re looking at over 1600 cheeses entered.  That’s right he’s feeling smug.  He damn well should!

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Filed under Cheese/Cheese Related, Restaurants and Products, Travel and Food