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Jul 16, 2007 02:50 PM

Smoked Cheeses?

Hello Fellow Chowhounders,

I've recently discovered smoked gouda cheese. What a delight! And to think that I've been missing out on this scrumptious cheese all these years because of my fondness fro brie and cambert. Anyhow, not all smoked cheeses are created equal. I brought some of my smoked gouda to work and shared it with my colleagues. One colleague liked it so much that she went out and bought some smoked gouda, too. Alas, her variety was made in Quebec and didn't taste as good as the one I bought (which came from Holland and was more expensive).

I've recently tried smoked jarlsberg, but didn't like it as nearly as much as the smoked gouda.

What type of smoked cheeses do you recommend? Just so you know, I prefer mild to medium taste cheeses. Also, where in Montreal can I find good quality smoked cheeses? Do the cheese shops at Atwater Market and Jean-Talon carry any good home grown or imported smoked cheeses? I'd like to know before I make a trip down there.

As per usual, thanks in advance for your tips.

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  1. My favourite is smoked aged cheddar, as both strong flavors do not overwhelm each other.

    I make my own, but I have tried it at fromagerie des basques in Trois-Pistoles, others also make it as well as smokers who buy their cheese and transform it.

    Finally Hamel advertises a brand ono their website.

    2 Replies
    1. re: ScoobySnacks20

      Hamel at Jean Talon is such a great fromagerie, I'm sure it's worth the trip to looked for smoked cheeses there. . .
      You might enjoy Applewood Smoked Cheddar, which is English. Don't know if it's available in Canada, but the other stunning smoked cheese I love is by Rogue Creamery (in Oregon), a smoked blue. It is OUTSTANDING.

      I wonder if any of the Italian places around Jean Talon have smoked fresh mozzarella? Mmmmm!

      1. re: pitu

        Applewood smoked cheddar sounds scrumptious! I've been on the look-out for it, but haven't seen around. Thanks for telling me that Hamel had its own website, Scoobysnacks. Hamel has Scottish Smoked Cheddar, Pitu. That may be of interest to you as that you're fond of smoked cheddar. This is their description:

        "Cheddar écossais fumé
        Weight (kg): 0,2500,900
        Family: Pâte pressée non cuite
        Country: Ecosse
        Region: L'île de Gigha
        Milk Origin: Vache
        Treatment: Pasteurisé
        Greases (%): 32
        Taste: Marque à prononcé. Arôme fumé très présent avec une finale lactique acidulée. "

        They've also got Stokes' Point Smoked Cheddar from Australia:

        "Cheddar fumé Stokes Point
        Weight (kg):
        Family: Pâte pressée non cuite
        Country: Australie
        Region: King Island (sud de Melbourne)
        Milk Origin: Vache
        Treatment: Pasteurisé
        Greases (%): 32
        Taste: Marqué à prononcé. Arômes fumés. "

        And of course, they've got my beloved smoked gouda :). They probably have more smoked cheeses, but I didn't peruse their website for long. I figure I'll probably just go to Hamel tomorrow and talk to them about their various smoked cheeses then.

    2. Where did you find smoked jarlsberg?

      1 Reply
      1. re: paperfree

        At the Metro grocery store in Westmount. On Victoria and Sherbrooke. They've got smoked gouda, smoked gouda with black pepper, and smoked jarlsberg. The goudas are imported from Holland, and the smoked jarlsberg is imported from Norway.

        I'm not crazy about the smoked jarlsbrg. Not that it is a bad cheese by any means. I just prefer the smoked gouda more. The smoked gouda with black pepper is very very good, too. It's got a nice peppery finish. BTW, the smoke gouda has gotten rave reviews - everyone that's tried it, has loved it.

      2. As I am eating some of it as I type, I think it is appropriate that I share my thoughts. This is a smoked cheese from the Savoie - Tomme Fumee. Purchased at the Fromagerie Atwater. It's similar to Raclette and is often used instead of. It's semi-firm, creamy and the smokiness is very suave, not overwhelming as it can be with gouda. Melted it is excellent. Am currently enjoying it at room temperature with a toast of Berlinois Bread (rye with cumin, caraway and walnuts) from le Fromentier and a glass of Le Bonheur (South African Chardonnay) - let's just say that there is a whole lot of happy going on...

        1. Any non-cow smoked cheeses around?

          I had a gingerly taste of smoked gouda while in Amsterdam (I'm intolerant of cow's milk). Not complaining as over there one finds lovely aged goat's gouda unthinkable (undreamable?) here.

          14 Replies
          1. re: lagatta

            Hello Hounders,

            Just wanted to give you all an update on my adventures in finding smoked cheeses in Montreal.

            Smoked Gouda, Smoked Gouda w/ black pepper, and Smoked Jarlsberg can all be found at the Metro Grocery store in Westmount (corner of Sherbrooke and Victoria). Both smoked goudas are excellent, though the smoked jarlsberg is so-so. Not that it is a bad cheese, but it's just not to my preference.

            Smoked gouda and smoked caciocavallo can be found at Hamel in JTM. Surprisingly, Hamel did not have any other smoked cheeses in stock. Though their website advertises smoked cheddar, there wasn't any. When I inquired as to when they would re-stock, the store clerk replied that she didn't know. Heck, she didn't even know that they had smoked caciocavallo in stock! She said they only had smoked gouda. I had found the smoked caciocavallo by sheer accident, as that it's made by Saputo and was pre-packaged and shelved. The smoked caciocavallo is quite nice, mild, with a light smokey flavour.

            I also went to Laid de Cru, but they had only smoked gouda too. I find it surprising that the two foremost fromageries at JTM carry only smoked gouda. I guess there is no demand for smoked cheeses.

            I found smoked gruyere at Exo Fruits (5192 Cote des Neiges; tel: 514-738-1384). On my way back from JTM, I had a vague recollection of another montrealer chowhounder saying something about a good butcher near there that had great bacon. I think I confused Carswell's post regarding a boucherie near Snowden metro. Anyhow, I popped out at CDN intending on finding a boucherie, but wound up at Exo Fruits instead. For a small store, they had a good selection of cheeses, carrying smoked gouda, smoked gruyere, and the usual arrays of bries, camberts...etc. The smoked gruyere is not my favorite. I find it to be strong, with an unpleasant aftertaste and not enough of a smoke flavour. I'll probably try and make croutons with it or something, or just give it away to a colleague.

            La Fromagerie at Atwater Market ended up being the store that carried smoked gouda, smoked cheddar (CDN made, from Manitoba, aged two years), smoked caciocavallo, and smoked mozzarella. Pitu, if you hurry, you may still get the smoked mozzarella. When I was there on Sunday, there was only 1 slice left. I just tried the smoked cheddar now, sharing it with friends and colleagues at work. We all enjoyed it; it had a good texture, a "medium" flavour, and a slight smokey taste. I would have preferred it to have a more pronounced smokey flavour, though.

            So there you have it. If anyone else knows of other smoked cheeses, let us know.

            BTW, Lagatta, sorry I haven't seen any smoked goat cheese about. I'll let you know if I do.

            1. re: Chai Latte

              Thanks, Chai. Haven't even found any in Amsterdam, though there is excellent aged (non-smoked) Gouda. I have had the same staff problem you have encountered at Hamel. Perhaps try Capitol for Italian-type cheeses at the JT market?

              Qui L'ait cru... (Laid means ugly!)

              1. re: Chai Latte

                thx chai, but fyi pitu is a new yorker (plenty of smoked cheese ici)
                who likes to visit montreal
                : )

                1. re: Chai Latte

                  Saputo/Fromages Coté is introducing soon an unaged smoked cheddar in their Armstrong brand. I tasted it at their plant in Plessisville last week. It is smoked before it is pressed, so you see a grain of smoke through the cheese rather than around it with aged products. The smokyness comes through, but the cheddar itself is pretty mild, since it's very fresh. Great for burgers...

                  1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                    I'm reviving this thread as I'M just coming back from NYC and had my first encounter with smoked mozzarella. I bought a couple of balls at Murray's but I was wondering if these were to be found in the Montreal area and if so, where?

                    1. re: Campofiorin

                      Send some my way; I'll smoke 'em for you.

                      1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                        Is there a way to do it at home? Do I need a smoker? Could I do it with wood chips in a skillet over really low heat?

                        1. re: Campofiorin

                          Yes you can definitely do it home, I use a smoker but wood chips in a skillet *should* work although temperature control would be a concern. I smoke cheddar regularily, mozzarella should give great results. If you would like to use my "facilities" you would be welcome, it only takes an hour or two to get a good smoke. Follow my contact information to my blog and leave me a message. I am in the eastern west island if that makes any sense.

                          1. re: ScoobySnacks20

                            I'll try my luck at home probably with cheese I'll make or the good old mozzarina and if it fails and I'll let you know how it turns out. Merci de l'offre!

                      2. re: Campofiorin

                        "I bought a couple of balls at Murray's but I was wondering if these were to be found in the Montreal area and if so, where?"

                        I've seen smoked mozzarella at the Fromagerie at Atwater market. It's not in little balls though, but in slabs.

                        1. re: Chai Latte

                          You can get smoked mozzarella, smoked caciocavallo and I think smoked scamorza at Milano. The last one is killer on homemade pizza!

                          1. re: maisonbistro

                            Seeing as I'm planning a trip to Milano tomorrow morning, I'll have to add the scamorza to my shopping list to try!

                          2. re: Chai Latte

                            THat's probably not what I'm looking for. The balls I bought were from fresh made, still very soft mozzarella, kinda like the Saputo Mozzarina. As for the post about Milano, I see the caciocavallo all the time but I'm yet to see the smoked mozzarella.

                            1. re: Campofiorin

                              You should just ask at the counter (not sure if you need to take a number for that though - LOL) and you can also try Capitol at the JTM.

                  2. My favourites are smoked gruyere and smoked cheddar.