Say, “Cheese!” One More Delectable Reason to Visit Niagara

March 9, 2015 10:00 am

image001There are scores of reasons why people choose to tour the Niagara Falls region, from the natural splendor to its many vineyards and the exceptional wines they produce year after year. While it may not be on many people’s radars — yet — the cheese is also an excellent reason to visit. Canada boasts over 1,000 varieties of cheese, and many of them are among the finest in the world.

In fact, an aged Lankaaster made by Glengarry Cheesemaking in Lancaster, Ontario won the highest honor at the Global Cheese Awards back in 2013, besting English, French, and Italian cheeses of world renown. Whether your taste loyalties lie with sheep’s milk or cow’s, here are a handful of cheese-centered reasons to book a stay in Niagara.

1. Best Baa Dairy

Located in Fergus, the owners of Best Baa Dairy specialize in sheep’s milk offerings. By making use of raw milk purchased from the Ewenity Dairy Co-op, Best Baa ensures they start with the finest and freshest ingredients possible. Two of their most popular cheeses are the Mouton Rouge, a raw milk cheese aged 60 days, and the Ramambert, a camembert-style cheese. In addition to cheeses, they also make sheep’s milk yogurt and ice cream.

2. Upper Canada Cheese Company

image003By only using a single herd of Guernsey cows for all their cheeses, the Upper Canada Cheese Company in Jordan enjoys a stellar reputation for supplying all of Canada with some of its finest cheese. A rare breed known for producing remarkably rich milk, there are only six Guernsey herds in the entire country, and the Upper Canada Cheese Company makes use of the one in Niagara Falls owned by the Comfort family. Home to the washed rind, semi-firm Niagara Gold, a wildly popular cheese made according to Trappist monk recipes developed in the Loire Valley of France, and the Comfort Cream, a camembert-style cheese named after the Niagara family whose herd of cows provide the cheesemakers with their milk, this dairy’s cheeses should not be missed.

3. Monforte Dairy Company

This Millbank dairy is located in Amish county and churns out more than 30 varieties of cheese each year. While all their cheeses are worth trying, if you only have eyes and stomach for one, make it the Piacere, a sheep’s milk cheese that is semi-soft and covered in chili peppers, rosemary, savoury, and juniper.

4. Cheesemaking Classes

For the cheese lover who wants to try his or her hand at the craft, Peter and Doreen Sullivan teach home cheesemaking workshops a couple times each month. Participants learn how to make a Camambert- and Roquefort-style cheese that they then take home to finish and age. A starter kit is included in the cost of the workshop, so once you leave you can continue your cheesemaking practices in the comfort of your own kitchen. Additionally, a gourmet lunch is provided where you’ll enjoy a sampling of artisanal cheeses. Each workshop has room for only eight participants, so you’ll get plenty of individualized attention from the Sullivans.

So, come for the mesmerizing waterfalls. Just make sure you stay for the cheese.