Tag Archives: Cheese Boutique

Roll with the heat by embracing Cheese Boutique’s old school Gelato

The gelat-area.

In this heat you may want to climb into the little freezer area that stores Cheese Boutique’s scrumptious house-made gelato, but I am pretty sure that is a no-no in terms of health and safety standards.   But it would bring you cheek-to-frozen cheek with the authentic gelato that Cheese Boutique has started making this year.  They had an Italian gelato expert come in and train their gelato-maker (I forgot to ask his name-rude) but there he stands (saddened by my bad manners) behind the counter.

You can see the gelato process right in the gelateria.

They start by pasteurizing the cream themselves, which is how it is traditionally done.

Many flavours all made with natural ingredients (and using real Italian words).

Felix and I tried the hazelnut (nocciola), the fior di latte (fresh cream) and settled on splitting the lemon gelato.  It was all pretty frigging divine.

When I asked Afrim Pristine for his favourite’s at the family store he mentioned the above three and the Frutto di Bosco (wild berry).  He also suggested 25 year old balsamic on the Fior Di Latte (damn, that guy has good ideas).

Best of all– The Cheese Boutique gelataria will be open until 9pm all summer starting next week (July 9).  And you can buy tubs to go!

Address: 45 Ripley Avenue, Toronto

FYI Gelato is slow churned and has less air whipped into it than ice cream.  It is denser, very silky and smooth, intense in flavour and can be kept at a warmer temperature– so gelato is creamy and softer in texture.

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Toast Post: Cheese Wedges to Fill Your Stocking Toe


There’s always too much good cheese and not enough space in my Globe column to include it all so I’ve listed a few other cheesy ideas below (with advice from our local cheese mongers in Toronto, Edmonton and Vancouver).

SOBEYS (Ontario)

Fiscalini Ageing Rooms (photo from Fiscalinicheese.com)

Fiscalini, Clothbound Cheddar:

Andy Shay, the cheese buyer at Sobeys has just brought this California cheese into stores within the last week.  Made in traditional English style, this cheddar is a world-class award winner (including “outstanding Cheese of the Year”).  I’ve been looking forward to this one like, well, like a kid at Christmas.  (Also ask for it at Les Amis du Fromage in Vancouver)

Juliet Harbutt’s Line of British Cheese:

(For a detailed list of the whole line see my post on British Cheese)

Specially picked for best quality (and also keeping in mind being stored at a larger retailer) all these cheeses are fairly hardy and can be left out for an afternoon of nibbling.  The Stilton is made by Cropwell Bishop who make some of the most outstanding examples of this product.

A TASTE OF QUEBEC (Toronto)

Pied De Vent (photo from fromagesduquebec.qc.ca)

Located in the beautiful Distillery District the store carries only Quebec products.  Aside from amazing cheese you can get Quebec honey, charcuterie, preserves and lots of other easy to prepare nibbles.  Suzanne at the store recommended the following:

Pied de Vent

The name of this cheese refers to the sun’s rays peeking through the clouds. It has a copper-coloured rind and buttercup yellow paste. Until recently, Pied de Vent was only available in Quebec. This luscious cheese has a supple paste with a full, meaty aroma. The flavours are buttery, robust and nutty. A great after-dinner cheese all by itself.  (Also at Loblaws Maple Leaf Gardens, Toronto, and Les Amis de Fromage, Vancouver)

La Tomme des Demoiselles

A hard pressed  cheese aged more than 6 months with salty and fruity flavours.  Made by the producers of Pied-de-Vent and also raw milk.

EVERYTHING CHEESE (Edmonton)

Chaource (photo from aritisinalcheese.com)

The scoop from Tania and Lydia at this great new (just over a year old) cheese shop in Edmonton is the following:

Chaource

This decadent double-creme is made in France’s Champagne region and is the perfect pairing for your bubbly.

Gingha Fruit Cheese

This  “Scottish Pear” is made with a mix of Scottish cheddar, cream cheese and pear Schnapps. It is formed in the shape of a pear and covered in wax.  (See how easy it is to eat more fruit?)

They also carry Shropshire Blue and classics like Epoisses, Valencay (so gorgeous on a cheese board), and Robiola (Heaven is a gooey Robiola).

LES AMIS DU FROMAGE (Vancouver)

Cropwell-Bishop Stilton

Allison at Les Amis was kind enough to stop and email me some ideas in between the holiday rush.  I’m putting my money on the Ported Stilton– apparently it’s going very fast!

Ported Stilton

The right way to marry your port and Stilton–have a professional do it.  “We pierce the outside of the Stilton and pour Port into the wheel, we start at the beginning of November and give it at least 6 weeks,” says Allison.

Goat Cheeses

They have lots of fabulous little goat cheese with fresh ash, Espelette peppers, aged pyramids, logs buttons, leaf-wrapped and soaked in Marc.

(these types of goat cheese are so lovely they must be seen to be appreciated, go immediately)

Mountain Cheeses

My favourite  cheese category–they’ve got lots reports Allison,  including Abondance from Savoie and Le Marechal from Switzerland.

BLUE CHEESE

Blue Juliette (photo from Provincial Fine Foods)

Today’s column, The Spread was based around Stilton and Roquefort and blues in general.  It was quite a struggle to whittle down, and here are a few other blues that you might consider (amongst dozens!  I know!)

Blue Juliette, pasteurized goat, BC

This soft, creamy, shadow of a blue is made from goat milk and hails from Salt Spring Island, BC.  There ‘s no oxygen allowed into the interior of this soft-ripened cheese so the mold only develops in a lace-like blue/green pattern on the rind.  Beautiful on a cheese board and only mildly feisty.

Montbriac (also known as Roche Baron), pasteurized cow, France

If Cambozola’s been your blue cheese compromise, ditch it for a sexy French ally.  A brie-like bloomy rind cheese that gets silky and runny when ripe, its exterior is a striking charcoal colour due to the ash covered rind.  Blue mold is minimal but creates a rich, tangy flavour with a hint of spice.

Erborinato al Cacao e Rum, raw cow, Italy

Tis the season of pampering, and if you’re hoping to indulge your guests look no further than this Erborinato from Italy’s Piedmonte region.  This blue is Infused with 8-yr old rum and coated in cocoa powder.  A hard-to-get cheese with an appropriate price tag, it’s currently available at Toronto’s Cheese Boutique. 

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Bacon Jam: The Edible Hairball You Don’t Want to Miss

You see what I'm saying?

BaJeaven.  Also known as Bacon Jam Heaven and actually better than heaven.  Used in a sentence, ” Man I was in BaJeaven after that gluteal massage.”

I dropped the hairball on Bacon Jam (aka Skillet Original Bacon Spread).   I am way behind the sizzle that has hit the Toronto bacon scene.

The Toronto Star and The Globe have written about it.   All the Best Fine Foods (read Jane Rodmell’s blog entry for some Bajeaven ideas) had the inspired idea to host a bacon jam-a-thon…with three Toronto chefs creating recipes using this scoopable bacon.  They included Claudio Aprile (Origin and Colbourne Lane), Chris McDonald of Cava/Xococava, and Nick auf der Mauer of Porchetta and Co.

And Nick Auf Der Mar achieved BaJeaven by adding excess to indulgence in a bacon jam, porchetta and crackling panini (seriously CRACKLING + BACON JAM–no one has tabulated how many people died from happiness yet..)

Ready to Hit the Heat

I made my own simple combo– Grilled cheese (caraway rye) with Cheese Boutique’s Vintage 7- Year Old Clothbound Cheddar, bacon jam and some arugula from the garden.

The salad in the BG is for display purposes only.

The arugula, which tasted BaJeavenly as part of the combo also made me feel like I had some health inserted into the grilled cheese.  Just throwing a bone out to the arteries.  BaJeaven is not always their favourite place.  Losers.

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