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Feb 22, 2008 10:31 AM

Portuguese Fresh Cheese -- in the East End?

When I lived in the Annex, I was able to head to the Little Italy/Little Portugal areas easily to buy the Portuguese fresh cheese (similar to cottage or ricotta but I don't know what it's actually called). I now live in the east end of the city (Leslieville) and don't know where I can get this type of cheese (or Portuguese baked goods, buns). My little ones love the stuff I but just don't have the time to trek out west.

Are there any Portuguese grocers in this end of the city? Please let me know.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. Have you been to Leslieville Cheese (SE corner of Queen and Logan)? We went to a cheese-tasting there that featured Spanish and Portuguese cheeses and there were a couple of lovely soft fresh Portuguese ones (made in Toronto, but that style).

    It's a great little shop.

    8 Replies
    1. re: beanbiscuit

      I hear you, I've been bugging the folks at Caldense to open up an east side location already. Can't think of a place that sells Padas or natas out here, but there are some really good bakeries around. St. John's Bakery (on Broadview, 1 block north of Queen) makes fantastic artisanal French sourdough breads and pastries. Bonjour Brioche at Queen and Degrassi makes some of the best baguettes in town.

      You can try and see if they have any good buns at Altitude Bakery at 1346 Queen East, they carry bread from all over.

      1. re: currycue

        Ah, yes, I know Caldense well. I miss this bakery, along with Golden Wheat and even Nova Era. Currycue, please continue to bug Caldense to open something in this end of the city.

        I agree with you both. The Leslieville Cheese Market, St. John's Bakery, Bonjour Brioche and Altitude Bakery are fantastic! I've visited the Cheese Market several times but they don't carry the every day soft cheese that you find in Portuguese grocers.

        Altitude Bakery makes the best pies (apple, coconut creme, lemon meringue, etc.) and I go there often to buy the Montreal-style bagels. But they don't have the kind of buns I seek.

        I love the Walnut Sourdough bread from St. John's Bakery and the baguettes from Bonjour Brioche. But, my kids are still toddlers and they prefer softer breads. The Portuguese bun that I have in mind are shaped like footballs with a small round knob on one end (and taper to a slight point on the other end, I think). They are light and airy, not dense. I also like the ones that are shaped like figure 8s but these are heartier and have a harder crust. (Sorry, I don't know the proper Portuguese terms for these buns or other products listed herein. If any one here knows what they're called, please educate me!)

        At this writing, I'm also craving the codfish or shrimp fried dumplings and egg custard tarts (which I've seen sold at the local Loblaws but it just isn't the same, kwim?)

        1. re: DishyDiva

          Europa on the Danforth (south side, east of Pape) do the custard tarts and sometimes have both the codfish and shrimp thingies. Not sure about the buns, but give them a call. I don't love all their stuff but am glad to have a custard tart option in the east end. Also they have tables in the back and they are pretty kid friendly if you want to stop and have a coffee and treat. And at Christmas they have this Portuguese Christmas bread ring thing that I LOVE.

          1. re: julesrules

            Yes, I've been to Europa. You're right, julesrules, they have hits and misses there. I totally forgot about them. I bought some custard tarts there last summer but without any competition, they were quite overpriced. I also bought two servings of tiramisu which I thought were fresh. On the contrary, when I brought them home and dug into them, I discovered to my horror that they were frozen on the inside! So, the food snob that I am, I never went back.

            Returning to my cravings, the Portuguese bakeries also make a mean creme caramel and creamy rice pudding as well.

            LOL, I should have titled this thread "All things Portuguese" instead of "...fresh cheese".

            1. re: DishyDiva

              > shaped like footballs with a small round knob on one
              > end (and taper to a slight point on the other end, I think).
              > They are light and airy, not dense.

              Are those "papo secos", or something like that? I used to live near a Poruguese bakery in Montreal and we would buy those every weekend.

              Did you ask about the soft fresh cheese at Leslieville? They definitely had it for the tasting I was at, because I had never tried it before and thought it was just lovely. The woman who was hosting said it was made by a man on/around Ossington Street.

              1. re: beanbiscuit


                I called the Leslieville Cheese Market today and was told that they did indeed special order the Portuguese cheese a while ago. Sadly, they don't plan on re-ordering any time soon nor do they know of anything place in this end of the city that carries such products. So, I am out of luck... :-(

                1. re: DishyDiva

                  Did you try Alex Farm on Queen, just west of Woodbine as yet? Also, there are some places up on the Danforth that may carry it such as Royal Beef.

                  1. re: currycue

                    Thanks for the suggestions, currycue. I checked out both locations without luck.