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Best Cheddar Cheese

Fromagerie Perron won this years Royal Agricultural Fair for aged cheddar cheese, and Wayne Lain of Maple Dale Cheese placed second. FP isn't available where I am, but Maple Dale is available here in discount stores no less. I can tell you I now have a new favourite cheddar (replacing Empire which is also excellent - this year's 4th place).

Has anyone tried either of these ?

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  1. I buy the Maple Dale 5-year-old white cheddar at Superstore at Don Mills and Eglinton. It's sharp and crumbly with good crystals and a hint of barnyard. At $12.99 for 500grams it's the best cheese deal in the city.

    7 Replies
      1. re: Yongeman

        It's got an earthy or maybe nutty taste you don't get in young cheddars. Maybe due to the development of H2S? I call it "barnyard". (Although it's a pasteurized, factory-produced product that hasn't been near a barnyard.)

        1. re: hal2010

          Ok, thanks for that, hal2010. Just made me chuckle.

          1. re: foodyDudey

            Interesting, foodyDudey, but it's a bit of a stretch for my taste, to see that as a positive trait.

            1. re: Yongeman

              It's a trait in a few wines of Bourgogne or the Rhone that make them distinctive and often bargains. The descriptive terms are excessive and don't do justice to the cheese or wines.

              1. re: jayt90

                Makes sense to me. Similar to terroir....in reference to what the cows may have been fed on, etc.

      2. I second Mapledale. I live in the region so i have many cheese producers in the area. There is also Ivanho Cheese and Eldorado Cheese. Black River in PEC is also good.

        1. Though I've never seen them around the GTA, Wilton cheddars are probably my favorites. Killer cheese curd, too, from this tiny factory just outside Odessa, ON.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Kagemusha

            I grew up in Kingston and driving to Wilton for warm fresh curd was always a Sunday treat. I make a stop every time I go home for visit!

          2. Empire Cheese - Supreme no question. My dad drives all the way to Campbellford to stock up but they do sell it in other places. I can taste it now mmmmmmmmm.

            http://www.empirecheese.ca/

            1 Reply
            1. re: weekerrie

              You are right weekerrie, Empire is excellent, although my last pack of old was waxy with less than normal flavour. In any case, try the Maple Dale old cheddar, IMHO it is even better.

              Maple Dale is in Thurlow (N of Belleville, not far from Campbellford). I called MD (613-477-2454) and they were great letting me know where I could buy it. I can buy it a Price Chopper no less.

              Fromagerie Perron is in Saint-Prime Quebec, ~300km north of Quebec City, and after considerable effort, I still haven't found an Ontario supply - yet.

            2. I am going to have to say that I really love the cheddar from Cow's out of P.E.I. I have purchased it at both Loblaw at Yonge and York Mills and Fiesta Farms.

              http://runningandrecipes.blogspot.com/

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              Fiesta Farms
              200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

              3 Replies
              1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                I have occasionally seen a cloth bound cheddar from Cow's that is even better that the one that comes in blocks, which I also love.

                1. re: cheesymama

                  Do you recall where you have seen the cloth-bound cheddar?

                  1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie

                    I picked some up at Fiesta Farms just before Thanksgiving. Marvellous.

                    -----
                    Fiesta Farms
                    200 Christie St, Toronto, ON M6G, CA

              2. Balderson's 5 year old is good, a 15 year old irish cheddar from a cheese place in Kensington market forget the name awesome! I had a cheddar finished with port wine from the cheese emporium on avenue road which was interesting.

                4 Replies
                1. re: TheDewster

                  I buy the 6YO white from Costco and love it.

                  I just sent 2 blocks of it to an expat in the Boston area and she loved it too.

                  DT

                    1. re: flinta

                      Ya, the 6 YO is a steal at Costco

                      DT

                      1. re: Davwud

                        +1 for Cheese at Costco. sometime they have stuff on discount which makes it incredibly inexpensive. I picked up a 750 gram block 2 year old Balderson for 11$!!!!!!
                        when it was on sale.

                  1. Update : After getting the run around through multiple offices of various distributors, reports are that Fromagerie Perron isn't available in Ontario. Heading to Montreal tomorrow and will report back if FP search and eat mission is successful...

                    Has anyone tried the Maple Dale ? It is now our new favorite extra old.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: PoppiYYZ

                      Did you try A Taste of Quebec? Their website says they carry FP.

                      http://www.atasteofquebec.com/product...

                        1. re: TheDewster

                          Thanks for the tips Snarf and Dewster. I'll check both out next time in TO.

                        2. re: PoppiYYZ

                          I bought the 3 y/o to try based on the recommendations in this thread.

                          Love it.

                          Going for the 5, maybe a 10 next time!

                        3. It's too bad Marks & Spencer no longer exists here; they have an incredible cheddar called "Cornish Cruncher."

                          1. Now that the thread seems to have crossed a few borders, I had an Irish Cheddar which was soaked in Whisky that was mind-blowing. Chabichou on Harbord.

                            Also, nice to see that Black River is in Metro. I hope they didn't have to buy kneepads.

                            -----
                            Harbord
                            147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

                            Chabichou
                            Toronto, Toronto, ON , CA

                            1. Back from Montreal. Found the FP cheddar at an excellent cheese shop (La Vieille Europe Cheese Shop) on St Laurent. Tried the 2, 4, and 7 year old and have to say didn't like any of them. The flavour isn't what I expect from cheddar and the only way I can describe it is that it is "Gruyere" like. Not bad, just different and not to my tastes.

                              To be fair, I will still try some from A Taste of Quebec and Provincial Fine Foods in Toronto.

                              PS Montreal Rocks. Great CH town.

                              1. We like Mapledale so we recently stopped at their outlet. http://www.ruralroutes.com/340.html?p...

                                One cheese we bought was "Hunter's Rough" six year old cheddar. I'd never heard that name before.

                                Soon our car began to smell. That cheese stinks! I've never had that in a cheddar. But I quite like the taste.

                                Does anyone know more about this kind of cheddar?

                                Last year we visited 5th Town and bought a goat milk cheddar (possibly this one: http://www.fifthtown.ca/artisan_chees... ). I quite enjoyed this: it was clearly a cheddar and clearly goaty, a combination I'd never had and would not have expected to be good.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: Hugh

                                  Wow. I've had their seven year old white cheddar and it was strong, crumbly, and good, but wasn't stinky. I'll have to check out their outlet soon.

                                  BTW, a new cheese shop in Peterborough opened recently (Chasing the Cheese) and they carry some excellent stuff (Quebec unpasteurized and great French cheeses too). Check it out if you are in the area. Unfortunately got hooked on Triple Cream Chateau de Bourgogne, like the best butter you ever tasted...

                                  1. re: PoppiYYZ

                                    I should explained: they have several 72 month old cheddars as well as the Hunter's Rough six year old. And plenty of other ages too.

                                    (I cannot guess the significance of quoting one age in years and the other apparently identical ages in months.)

                                    The we also bought a 72 month old cheddar. It did not stink. It was good (notice I'm not very good at describing these things). It has a strong flavour but not biting.

                                    I think that "Hunter's Rough" must be something special. When I asked the staff person about the differences between the 72 month cheddars, I didn't get a memorable or useful answer. Too bad that they did't offer tastes.

                                    The funniest cheese moment on that trip was at the Big Apple ( http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/324617 http://www.visitcramahe.ca/cramahe/to... ). We had some apple pie and asked for the optional cheddar cheese. For a buck, we got a slice of processed cheese, not even nuked. Very silly for a restaurant so close to good cheese makers!

                                    -----
                                    Big Apple
                                    , Colborne, ON K0K1S0, CA

                                2. I find shockingly good cheeses at Metro. Go figure.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Googs

                                    Tried the 7 year old Maple Dale. It was sharp and crumbly. Everybody in the house tried and none of them liked it. "Too old" was the common response.

                                    All the more for me.

                                    1. re: Herne

                                      Try Balderson's 7 year old the benchmark I judge cheeses by.

                                  2. Applewood Smoked Cheddar rocks my world every time.
                                    By Ilchester from Ingerrlannd.

                                    I pick up a quarter round whenever I can, and it never lasts long.
                                    Most booths at SLM have it, as well as Sobeys and my local butcher Alan's in Whitby.

                                    7 Replies
                                    1. re: BeanerSchitzl

                                      If you think Applewood smoked cheddar is good, try Provincial Smoked Cheddar. The smoke runs deeper through it. It's available at Olympic at the SLM. I haven't sourced other vendors yet as I've only bought it once. I asked the nice people at Olympic for a good smoked cheddar for a burger. Boy were they ever right,.

                                      1. re: Googs

                                        Thanks for the suggestion Googs

                                        I'll definitely give some a try.

                                        1. re: Googs

                                          Olympic in the kensington market are they the same people? I got a 15 year old irish cheddar there that was amazing.

                                          1. re: TheDewster

                                            That I could not tell you. First I've heard of an Olympic in Kensington.

                                            1. re: Googs

                                              Ok, the provincial apple wood cheddar I wonder if that's distributed by provincial foods? They carry incredible cheeses from Quebec they have an outlet next to cumbrae's meats on Church street. They are the importers for all the unpasteurized cheeses birch beer etc from Quebec. That's where I get my eschire butter and other quebec foods proper curds etc.

                                              1. re: TheDewster

                                                This profile is certainly a match for what I ate and saw. I'd be curious to compare prices between Provincial and Olympic.

                                                http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/f...

                                        2. re: BeanerSchitzl

                                          I ate a whole block of AWSC in one sitting

                                        3. I love the 7 year old Hammertown white cheddar, also their delicious smoked orange cheddar (I use it in my mac&cheese) from the cheesemonger at the Hamilton farmer's market downtown.