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Best Cheddar Cheese

PoppiYYZ Nov 20, 2010 02:03 PM

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. hal2010 RE: PoppiYYZ Nov 20, 2010 02:59 PM

    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: hal2010
      Yongeman RE: hal2010 Nov 21, 2010 03:55 AM


      1. re: Yongeman
        hal2010 RE: Yongeman Nov 21, 2010 07:17 AM

        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
          Yongeman RE: hal2010 Nov 21, 2010 02:13 PM

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

        2. re: Yongeman
          foodyDudey RE: Yongeman Nov 21, 2010 04:18 PM

          That is a term also used to described certain wines. http://www.wineloverspage.com/questio...

          1. re: foodyDudey
            Yongeman RE: foodyDudey Nov 22, 2010 03:53 AM

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

            1. re: Yongeman
              jayt90 RE: Yongeman Dec 1, 2010 01:14 PM

              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
                millygirl RE: jayt90 Sep 4, 2011 07:54 AM

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

      2. f
        fatman0000 RE: PoppiYYZ Nov 21, 2010 04:53 PM

        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. Kagemusha RE: PoppiYYZ Nov 22, 2010 03:54 AM

          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
            JennaBean RE: Kagemusha Nov 22, 2010 05:51 AM

            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. w
            weekerrie RE: PoppiYYZ Nov 22, 2010 04:24 AM

            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.


            1 Reply
            1. re: weekerrie
              PoppiYYZ RE: weekerrie Nov 22, 2010 05:41 AM

              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. t
              Toronto Fastfoodie RE: PoppiYYZ Nov 22, 2010 06:37 PM

              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.


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

              3 Replies
              1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                cheesymama RE: Toronto Fastfoodie Dec 1, 2010 09:02 AM

                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
                  Toronto Fastfoodie RE: cheesymama Dec 1, 2010 06:09 PM

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

                  1. re: Toronto Fastfoodie
                    tbonetak RE: Toronto Fastfoodie Dec 1, 2010 06:26 PM

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

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

              2. TheDewster RE: PoppiYYZ Nov 30, 2010 06:31 AM

                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
                  Davwud RE: TheDewster Dec 1, 2010 08:59 AM

                  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.


                  1. re: TheDewster
                    flinta RE: TheDewster Sep 3, 2011 04:05 PM

                    Balderson- YES TO THAT.

                    1. re: flinta
                      Davwud RE: flinta Sep 3, 2011 05:30 PM

                      Ya, the 6 YO is a steal at Costco


                      1. re: Davwud
                        elvisahmed RE: Davwud Sep 4, 2011 06:42 PM

                        +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.

                  2. PoppiYYZ RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 1, 2010 04:44 AM

                    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
                      Snarf RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 1, 2010 07:03 AM

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


                      1. re: PoppiYYZ
                        TheDewster RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 1, 2010 11:10 AM

                        www.provincialfinefoods.com they have it

                        1. re: TheDewster
                          PoppiYYZ RE: TheDewster Dec 1, 2010 11:46 AM

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

                        2. re: PoppiYYZ
                          Sadistick RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 1, 2010 01:49 PM

                          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. t
                          tjr RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 1, 2010 04:50 PM

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

                          1. s
                            Snarf RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 1, 2010 08:18 PM

                            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.

                            147 Harbord St, Toronto, ON M5S1H1, CA

                            Toronto, Toronto, ON , CA

                            1. PoppiYYZ RE: PoppiYYZ Dec 5, 2010 03:33 AM

                              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. h
                                Hugh RE: PoppiYYZ Sep 3, 2011 10:15 AM

                                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
                                  PoppiYYZ RE: Hugh Sep 3, 2011 10:56 AM

                                  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
                                    Hugh RE: PoppiYYZ Sep 3, 2011 11:31 AM

                                    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. Googs RE: PoppiYYZ Sep 3, 2011 07:27 PM

                                  I find shockingly good cheeses at Metro. Go figure.

                                  2 Replies
                                  1. re: Googs
                                    Herne RE: Googs Sep 5, 2011 05:36 AM

                                    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
                                      TheDewster RE: Herne Sep 8, 2011 12:44 PM

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

                                  2. BeanerSchitzl RE: PoppiYYZ Sep 8, 2011 02:36 PM

                                    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
                                      Googs RE: BeanerSchitzl Sep 9, 2011 06:22 AM

                                      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
                                        BeanerSchitzl RE: Googs Sep 9, 2011 07:10 AM

                                        Thanks for the suggestion Googs

                                        I'll definitely give some a try.

                                        1. re: Googs
                                          TheDewster RE: Googs Sep 15, 2011 07:48 AM

                                          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
                                            Googs RE: TheDewster Sep 15, 2011 08:35 AM

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

                                            1. re: Googs
                                              TheDewster RE: Googs Sep 15, 2011 12:29 PM

                                              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
                                                Googs RE: TheDewster Sep 15, 2011 12:42 PM

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


                                        2. re: BeanerSchitzl
                                          Bobby Wham RE: BeanerSchitzl Sep 15, 2011 07:58 AM

                                          I ate a whole block of AWSC in one sitting

                                        3. b
                                          bogie RE: PoppiYYZ Sep 21, 2011 08:49 AM

                                          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.

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