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DECEMBER NEWSLETTER


Ordering for January Cheese Boxes and Special Orders is now open. Our deadline for guaranteed cheese is January 2nd. January cheese boxes and special orders will be ready for pickup or delivery ~ January 24th. While we will be bringing in additional cheese to stock the deli, we do appreciate early orders that help us plan.



The last week of 2022 is here! I tend to enjoy this last week of the year. I take time off from my day job and spend the week organizing my life so I can start "fresh" once January 1st hits. It's almost relaxing to putz around getting things done after what always seems to be an intensely busy week leading up to Christmas. This year in particular, for me was crazy, having the added "burden" of selling cheese to the masses! I was so happy to spend time throughout the month helping Brodie and Stephanie out at the Mustard Lady, talking and selling cheese and meeting people. Laliberté Cheese co is finally on the map! It was pretty exciting this month moving as much cheese as we did, so thank you all who came out to see what we had and walked away with a bag full of creamy goodness.


For many people the New Year, particular January, is about resetting after what is typically an overabundance of food throughout December. For some, that might...sob...include...sob...cheese. We hope not, but we do understand that somethings gotta go so we can maybe, hopefully, try to fit into our November pants. But may I make a suggestion? Lose the bread! Or limit the bread. Cheese does NOT need to be smeared on carbs. Yes, crackers and bread are a great carrier between the table and your mouth. But I also find a lot of guilt-free enjoyment using cucumber as my "cracker", particularly with the soft cheeses like Brie. Just a thought, in case you are on the cheese fence wondering if you should restock the cheese drawer.


We will be sticking to the same formula this coming year with our regular monthly cheese boxes and a stocked deli at the Mustard Lady. I do anticipate some gaps in our cheese availability as we familiarize ourselves with our new demand at the Deli. But our pre-orders and cheese boxes always come first, so the best way to guarantee the cheese you want is to pre-order via our website. www.lalibertecheese.com. And of course I always appreciate recommendations or requests!


For those of you who are new to us, our monthly cheese box (or really, they are bags) are where this all began. They contain ~500 grams of cheese, a mini jam and cheese cards describing each cheese. The cheese boxes may include some favourites that we've had in the past, but they are the focus for the new cheeses we bring in every month. We also do custom orders and we even did a few cheese boards this month! You can pick from our online selection each month and we will put together your order for you. Our January cheeses will display as out of stock in our web store, but they should all have a pre-order options, allowing you to add them to your order. If you find one that doesn't, just reach out and I will fix it lickity-split!


Onto what is new! Well for one, you can now order with a credit card. This is a convenience for many of us that use our credit cards a lot, which I do. That said, I do prefer etransfer, because as we are all aware, credit card fees are high, but I can understand that sometimes this is more convenient than an etransfer. The big bonus with the credit card is that you can now set yourself up for an ongoing monthly subscription, with your payment coming out automatically each month. Cheese for ever, and ever, and ever....


Secondly is that we are going to be encouraging pick-up at the Mustard Lady for those who live in the Comox Valley. We will continue to offer delivery, however the cost for delivery has gone up to reflect the resources used, including time. Delivery within the Comox Valley is no longer included with the Cheese Box. I know that getting a cheese box delivered is fun, and I really do wish that it made sense to continue doing it, but it is a time consuming process. We will continue to deliver to Campbell River and Port Alberni and we are happy to deliver within the Comox Valley for a fee. If you have already signed up for a cheese box this month or next month that included delivery, this will be honored, but going forward delivery will have the additional fee.


Stay tuned to our social media pages https://www.instagram.com/lalibertecheese/ or https://www.facebook.com/lalibertecheese to stay informed!


MONTHLY CHEESE REVIEW

 

Ok! Let's talk about some of the many cheeses we have tasted throughout November and December. We skipped our more formal November cheese review and we had a large selection brought in for the Cheese Advent Calendars...which I understand were an absolute hit! So yes, I'm pretty sure we are going to be doing this next year. But we've still got many months ahead of us before we have to turn our minds to that.


I seriously can't even begin to cover the majority of the cheese we had over the last two months. I'm sure if you are reading this you enjoy cheese, but I can't see anybody wanting to spend two hour reading about my thoughts on the texture and odor of every cheese. So this is the highlight reel!


Cheval Noir de L'Isle This was a super interesting cheese and one that many of you received in a cheese box and/or the Advent Calendar. This stunner had a very dark ash covering, it was hard to miss. There are a lot of cheese varieties out there that incorporate ash in some form, whether it is part of the rind or a mid-line through the cheese. The ash has been used for many reasons, to lower the acidity (which is ideal for the colonizing microbial communities that are responsible for the bloomy rinds) or to speed up the surface drying which helps preserve the integrity of the cheese. The Cheval Noir it seemed, was more charcoal covered than ash. The texture was grittier and more surface level than I am used to. Often the ash is more incorporated into the bloomy rind, so perhaps this had more to do with the age of the cheese. It was a bit daunting to process, very messy to cut, or touch, but it was definitely worth the hassle. Flavour wise the cheese started out mild with a warm cream flavour, but the punch after sitting for a couple of weeks was amazing. I ate a piece that someone had saved from Day 14 in their Advent Calendar the other night, and it was full flavoured and very satisfying.


Delice des Appalaches - This cheese looked a little boring coming out of it's packaging. It was a rectangular cheese covered in a thin, orange rind. I thought, "meh", this will be the mild cheese in the monthly box. But it turned out to be the favourite on every cheese board that I included it on. It was the first to go. It wasn't overly pungent, with a bit of a sweeter flavour, probably associated with the fact that it is washed in cider. If you see slices of this in the deli, I highly recommend it, no matter how boring it looks!


Taleggio from Italy was an interesting cheese. It wasn't a typical flavour that I am used to. It had a yeasty quality to it that was hard to identify. Mild and flavourful, but not a stand out for me. It also had a fun rubbery texture to it. Ok, but not mind blowing!




Cabécou were a sweet little treat. They really were tiny, and fresh unless you bought closer to Christmas, at which point

they were a bit heavier with aroma and flavour! A nice little addition to a small cheese platter, and easy to eliminate very quickly.


JANUARY CHEESE LIST

 

Our January cheese list is a work in progress, I am adding cheese to the list as I write this. You can see the full list on our website (button below), and we will be adding more over the next few days. If you have any requests, now is the time!

All cheeses are available to pre-order for pick up or delivery. Here are some of my favorites that I am looking forward to.


Amazing Grey I am always on the hunt to find interesting goat and sheep cheeses for our lactose free folk who are often left with the boring end of the cheese stick. I think I may have found a winner! I'm not huge into firm goat cheeses, mainly because our options have been fairly limited here and the aging process is where the flavours of heavy goat melt away to sweetness. The reviews on this particular cheese are very good. From St. Mary's, Ontario, Amazing Grey is made using unpasteurized goat's milk and it is aged more than 2 years. The rind is inedible and the paste is firm, smooth, with crystals throughout and a sweet, caramelized flavour. It sounds similar to one of our favourites the Thea Sheep Cheddar, which we eat a lot of! Compared to a Swiss Gruyere, this beauty is an award winner and is apparently an excellent melter! Lactose free grilled cheese sandwich?!?


Another hard cheese this month is the 2 year old Cheddar from Isle-Aux-Grues in Quebec. I am looking for a sharp cheddar to satisfy a particular client. I have failed so far, but I refuse to admit defeat! Ile aux Grues is a land cooperative by the St. Lawrence River and has been producing cheese for over a century! Made of unpasteurized cow milk, this cheddar is hand made and aged for a minimum of 24 months. It has a crumbly texture and a tangy, lactic flavour with a bit of sweetness.

Vacherin Chabert is a cow cheese made in the Savoie region of France. Our fingers are crossed that we will be able to get some. This is one of those deliciously, creamy cheeses that comes in larger wheels and smaller (300 grams) rounds. It is formed into rounds and contained by a spruce strip. It is often eaten by removing all or some of the top rind and digging into the delicious gooey center. Due to the higher price point of the smaller rounds, we will be bringing in the larger wheel and serve by the piece. Either way, it is delicious!


Brie de Nangis - If you received one of our advent calendars you would have gotten a piece of this in December. Made with raw cow's milk, it is a very mild and buttery version of Brie. While young, the texture is chalky, but it develops it's runniness with time, so depending on your cheese preference feel free to slip this one in the back of the drawer for a bit.


We will be bringing in a few of everyone's favourite creamy French cheeses. Delice de Bourgogne and Brillat Savarin as well as the lovely St. Marcellin céramique. If you don't remember this last one, it was a delicate, soft rinded cheese that came in a small ceramic container. With something so delicate you expect the flavour to be mild, but by the time I tried mine, it was perfection. Aromatic and full bodied flavour.


And lastly, Reblochon will be making an appearance again. We had this wayyyyy back in our very first month. If you subscribed to our newsletter back then you will remember the recipe for Tartiflette. A fancy way to describe melted cheese on potatoes and back bacon. We bring in the Reblochon de Savoie, the dairy made version, which packs a little less punch, but is still delicious and interesting. This is due in large part to the higher fat content of the milk which is collected in a second milking. The paste is smooth with bit of a nutty flavour. The rind nis soft, and the colors can range from yellow to pink. This cheese has a higher fat content at 50%.


We will have a few different types of sheep and goat soft cheeses including Quebec's Pave de L'Atelier and from France, Crottin de Chevre and Crottin de Brebis.


 

Well, that's about all I've got for your as we approach the New Year. Thank you all who joined our Monthly Cheese Box club this past year. You really are the ones who are responsible for getting this little project up and running. Without you I would have been responsible for eating a lot of cheese. Happy New Year!


Keep it Cheesy!





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