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JULY NEWSLETTER


I don't know about you, but my cheese drawer is looking very empty of late. I found one last piece of neglected goat cheddar from last month that was still really good, so that was our treat last night. The cheese train arrives today, and July cheese deliveries go out this weekend and early next week, depending on your location. Keep an eye out for the delivery notification arriving in your email inbox soon.


I bought myself a LOT of cheese last month, and it allowed for some great last minute cheese boards to be pulled together. As usual some of it wore it's age better than others, and I do believe that has more to do with the type of paper and how well I re-wrapped it. I am an haphazard re-wrapper, even though I should know better. There are things I am fundamentally lazy at, and apparently rewrapping cheese is one of them. Don't be me, wrap your cheese up nice and snug, and maybe pop it into a container to maintain some moisture, if you want it to last extra long.


Is your cheese palate developing? I have had a couple of people (my husband included) mention recently that their enjoyment of stronger flavoured cheese is growing ever since they jumped on the monthly cheese box bandwagon. My husband is from the Netherlands originally, which is often associated with cheese, but cheese of a milder variety in his experience. He has become much more comfortable with stronger flavours. He has to be, living with me. I've never met a stinky cheese I didn't like.


I've had folks mention they disliked blue cheese or weren't fans of brie because of the rind. Now I get people telling me how much they love the Bleu d'Elizabeth, and after being exposed to Brillat Savarin and Chateau de Bourgogne they are all in for the bloomy rind.


What I am trying to do, and I hope I am succeeding is to bring a bit of fancy into our lives by giving us that European experience of the perfect cheese plate. Whether you are serving it as an appetizer, as the final course in a lovely meal or just putting together something quick for an afternoon snack, I want it to be something that you sit back and really savour. I really work to find a great balance of flavours and textures each month. Our customer base includes people from all over. Whether you just moved from Vancouver and miss your local cheese store, or came from France 20 years ago and yearn for those old flavours, that's what I'm here for!


Our deadline order for guaranteed cheese (both special order & cheese boxes) is July 24th. I know the August delivery seems far away, but early ordering helps me plan. I haven't had to say no to any late orders, and I hope I never do...


MONTHLY CHEESE REVIEW

 

Ok, lets review some cheese! I have my two favourites from last month. #1...100% Pavé de L'Atelier. This goat cheese was DIVINE! That's right...all caps! I literally gasped when I opened the box because it was sooo beautiful. It honestly is the cheese that makes me want to open a shop so it can be displayed. When I look at pictures of French fromageries I always zoom into the goat section because I love the look of a soft, wrinkled, melty goat cheese. This cheese was perfection out of the box. I don't know if it's because it had to be shipped across the country or what, but it arrived already soft, without the chalkiness which is often associated with goat. Fromagerie De L'Atelier is the maker of a number of luscious looking goat cheeses. This is the first of their products that we've tried. I was so happy with it, I turned around and ordered more for the July boxes. So some of you lucky people will receive a piece.


The other favourite was the Chemin de Hatley from Fromagerie La Station, also in Quebec. This was subbed in for another cheese that I couldn't get and I thought it was great. Aged for a minimum of 3 months, the description of the cheese is floral, fruity with almond aromas. It was very flavourful, but not overpowering, and the firmer texture made it a great addition to my cheese board.


We had two similar cheese, the Riopelle (cow) and Madelaine (sheep), both from Quebec. I think in a direct comparison, I preferred the Madelaine. It had a much creamier texture, and I found myself scraping the plate clean. The Riopelle was a fairly mild cheese and had a firmer texture to it, which is not my favourite in a soft cheese.


I have a big order arriving for our July cheese boxes and special orders, and I will be reviewing those new ones in my August newsletter. Stay tuned!


AUGUST'S CHEESE DRAWER

 

So many cheeses and so little space each month. Honestly, this would be so much easier if I ran a cheese store, I could just bring in all the cheese. Every. Single. One.

If you follow us on social media @lalibertecheese, you've gotten some early peeks into what we are planning on bringing in for August.


SPECIAL ORDERS

Along with our regular special order offerings, (Munster, Époisses, Morbier, Thea Sheep Cheddar & Comté), we have some new ones.

#1 is Murgella Burrata Pugliese. My distributor has told me this is the best

they've found, and I am more than willing to believe him. I'm pretty excited to bring this is in, just in time to pair it with all of the sun-ripened tomatoes we should be experiencing by that point. Nothing better than plopping this little package down on something delicious and cutting it open so its creamy center of mozzarella and cream oozes out. I always associate this with a Caprese salad, but there are just so many dishes that you can add Burrata to. I definitely plan on firing up the pizza oven and enjoying this with some arugula and olive oil on my margarita pizza. Delicioso!


#2 is Mimolette I've had a few folks ask for this cheese. I don't know that I've ever tasted it before, so it will be a first for me in August. The name comes from the French word mi-molle, which translates to "semi-soft". The texture of the cheese is hard but with an oily texture. It has a bright orange colour that is a result of the addition of a small amount of annato. In its full form it looks like a cantaloupe, with a rough textured rind that is developed through the use of cheese mites that are added to the cheese surface. These mites add to the flavour of the cheese as well as well as the look of the cheese. (This cheese has been banned in the US due to the concern that the cheese mites can cause an allergic reaction if consumed in large quantities...so as with all cheese, eat in moderation...end of PSA).


CHEESE BOX

I've been bringing in a number of "regulars" over the last few months, adding a couple of new ones each time. Which I think is great for the new customers, but for folks who have been longer customers I don't want you to get bored! So I'm going to focus on new cheeses this month, like the following:


St Marcellin Ceramique It was a toss up between St Marcellin and St Felicien, and I've opted for St Marcellin. This cute little French cheese comes in a ceramic pot. A bit on the salty side, with a stronger flavour, it has a thin rind and a runny, creamy consistency...which is why it comes in a pot! The texture reminds me of the Quebec cheese Adoray.





Effet Brebis Another soft cheese, but this time made from sheep milk. It is similar in look and feel to a wrinkly, soft goat cheese, like the Pavé de L'Atelier from this month (also from the same cheesemaker, Fromagerie de L'Atelier). For those of you unfamiliar with sheep cheese, don't be scared, it is much milder than goat cheese, without the characteristic "goatiness". I would describe it has having a delicate flavour.




Roquefort If you've been buying our cheese boxes for the last few months, you have probably been enjoying the Bleu D'Élizabeth. It's now time to step up our blue cheese game. Don't worry...it will only be a little piece! Roquefort is a sheep milk cheese from Southern France, and has a POD. A POD is Protected Designation of Origin, guaranteeing the quality, authenticity and traceability. Roquefort isn't made just anywhere, it can only be made in the Roquefort region of France. A bit spicy, a little creamy and a smidgen crumbly. Pop a piece in your mouth, close your eyes and think of France!


Louis D'or, an award winning cheese from Fromagerie du Presbytère in Quebec. This producer really puts out some gems! Laliberté, the soft triple cream and Bleu D'Élizabeth both of which we have brought in, are from this cheese maker. This is an alpine style cheese, made in whopping 40 kg wheels and has a buttery, creamy flavour. Very much looking forward to trying this one!




Follow us on social media as we develop the rest of the August cheese lineup!


Just as an aside, our goal within each box is to provide you with a minimum of 500 grams of cheese. There is a delicate balance between value and weight. It has been pretty easy up to this point, but as we delve more deeply into the different cheese offerings from around the world, and as milk prices continue to grow, the total weight from month to month, might be a bit less than expected to account for some of the cheese being more expensive. But what is lower one month will probably be higher the next month.


BIG PLANS

 

We have a few things on our radar for the coming 6 months, particularly for the holiday season. Thank you to those who responded to our Christmas Cheese Poll. Your feedback helps direct this ship.


One of the things that I've thought about for years is a Cheese Advent Calendar. Mainly because I wanted one and couldn't find one that didn't cost $200 and didn't contain 24 variations of cheddar. There are a few out there, but mainly in the UK and Europe. When I first launched, I spoke with a friend and she mentioned that she had made her own cheese advent calendars for herself and friends, and I realized I am NOT the only one out there who loves the idea!!


I am still working on the concept, the packaging, and really the logistics of offering small, daily pieces of cheese over a 24 day period, but I think it will come together nicely. Stay tuned for these. Like much of this cheese business, orders will need to be put in early so we can have them in your eager hands for December 1.


Cheese platters. We've all been at an event or gathering and gone to the snack table and seen the sad, little cheese platter. Lonely, oily slices of mozzarella, edam and "aged" cheddar. This is not that. I will be offering something like our monthly cheese box, with "can't find it locally cheese", in a platter form with other little nibbles (olives, dates, crackers etc...no charcuterie, you can get great charcuterie elsewhere).


Because I don't currently hold a lot of inventory and shipping from the mainland is expensive, planning is key...for both me and the customer. If you know you want a platter at some point in December let me know ahead of time, so I can ensure I have the inventory and the selection. I will be developing some deadlines for this. I anticipate having greater demand over Christmas, and I am planning on bringing in a couple of shipments over that month to make sure everything is coming in as fresh as possible.


Well! That's a wrap for this month. Cheese heads out the door to our lucky July customers within the next few days. I hope you enjoy your selection this month. And for those who haven't given us a try...what are you waiting for?


Love comes in many forms...shredded, sliced, melted.





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