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May 12, 2008 05:56 AM

Looking for fresh cheese in Montreal (curds or other)

Near my grandma's house in Sherbrooke, there is a little fromagerie that makes its own cheese curds, the kind of place where you show up at 1pm and they say, "We just ran out, we're making a fresh batch, come back in an hour", and when you do, they scoop your cheese curds out of a big vat, and the bag you get is warm and wet, and the cheese squeaks.

Is there any such place in Montreal? What about fresh mozzarella that has not yet been refrigerated?

I know it's possible to get daily made cheese curds in various stores, but the problem with those is they are delivered in refrigerated trucks, and even a little bit of refrigeration changes the texture. I'm willing to drive to the source to get warm fresh cheese. If there isn't any such place on the island, is there anywhere relatively close off the island?

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  1. You just cannot beat cheese curds from the St. Albert cheese factory in St. Albert, ON - about half way between Montreal and Ottawa, 8 km off the 417. You might try:

    Chez Chartier
    655 chemin Bord-du-Lac Lakeshore
    Dorval, QC H9S 2B7
    (514) 631-5011
    They used to carry St Albert, but of course it has been refrigerated.

    The second best is curds from Hamel at JTM - they have not been refrigerated, but they are not from St. Albert.

    Good luck.

    1. you could also contact either Pied de Cochon or Banquise and ask them where they get theirs, and if you can buy some off them!

      1. There is a fresh cheese I love, but it isn't local, and I'm sure it is 100 times better at the source. It is that Portuguese goat's cheese, barely set, that comes in a clear plastic dish surrounded by not-very-salty brine. There is also a cow's milk version, but beyond my degree of lactose intolerance, the goat's milk type is tastier, as of course it is very mild. It is called either St. John's or Santa Maria (two different brands, or simply names?) and all seems to be made in Toronto. You can get it at many Portuguese shops in the Plateau/Mile End and at Boulangerie Populaire on de Castelnau just north of JTM, but it sells out quickly. Sure it is available in other neighbourhoods with a goodly Portuguese population in Mtl and Laval.

        1. Hamel (in JT market) has wheels of not-yet-refrigerated Saint Guillaume (white and Orange) sitting on the end counter.I usually get it on Saturday at its maximum squeakiness. If you ask for squeaky cheese they will know exactly what you need.

          1. Very remiss of me not to reply to my own thread for a week! I'll have to try the curds at Hamel, although I am disappointed that so many little small towns in Quebec have something we don't have in Montreal: a small artisanal fresh cheesemaker. And wouldn't it be wonderful if we could buy same day Mozzarina! Oh well, even in Italy it's hard to find fresh mozzarella outside of Campania.

            6 Replies
            1. re: Venusia

              Humm, day fresh mozzarella. I've been dreaming about it ever since I tasted Joe's dairy fresh mozarella and fresh smoked mozarella (heaven, I'm tellin' ya!) in NYC. I've tried making fresh mozz at home a few times and it was a disaster. If I had any talent, I'd seriously consider trying to start my own little operation because there sure is a gap there.

              1. re: Campofiorin

                My fresh Portuguese cheese from Tranna really isn't bad, though it is trucked in. I go for it because it is goat's milk (though there is also a cow's milk variety). It is a bit wetter than mozza so I'd be afraid to use it on a pizza (in the Italian style, with gobs of really fresh mozza). Though I've only been to Campania for short visits, so I don't have much experience with the truly fresh, quality stuff. Lots of problems with that nowadays, by the way.

                1. re: Campofiorin

                  Campofiorin, thank you! I didn't know you could get fresh mozza in New York! I will definitely look out for it when I go back this fall.

                  1. re: Venusia

                    Just head to Murray's cheese shop (one in Grand Central and one on Bleecker in the Village) or directly to Joe's just a couple of blacks from Murray's on Bleecker. Murray's great.

                    1. re: Venusia

                      You can get fresh mozzarella in Vermont, too. There's a company that makes plain and smoked versions, both of which are quite nice. I have the company name at home somewhere, but don't know where I put it... you can find it at City Market in Burlington, and Fresh Market as well.

                  2. re: Venusia

                    Is not hard to find fresh mozzarella in Italy!!
                    Out of Campania?