There are so many amazing cheese makers in this province right now, when we try to list them — our heads explode a little. Curd on the street is there are some pretty cool clusters worth a road trip for the determined dairy lovers out there.
Here’s five places we’d go for a cheesy weekend.
This is literally the Capital of Cheese. Not only was it named the Dairy Capital of Canada, it’s also home to the award winning Cheese Trail. If you’re looking for aged gouda and specialty cheeses like paneer, this is the place for you. Bonus: You can be cheesemaker for a day at Gunn’s Hill!
Prince Edward County
Prince Edward County is home to some of the most unique cheeses in the province. Black River cheese has been around for over 100 years. It’s basically an Ontario institution. On the other side of the spectrum you’ve got a micro-producer like Lighthall Vineyards creating small-batch magic that’s reminiscent of the ripe, gooey creations France is famous for — but with an all-Ontario twist. This is a special place for cheese lovers — especially in June when The Great Canadian Cheese Festival descends on the region.
Make Stratford your home base when exploring the cheeses of the region and you’ll never want to leave. The city carries a great pride in it’s cheese makers and you’ll find local varieties on almost every menu in the city. We especially love the halloumi salad with sesame and carrot at Mercer Hall.
Cheese Makers : Upper Canada Cheese
What? Only one cheese maker you say? Hush now. Upper Canada Cheese makes amazing cheese. Stupendous, really. While it may be the only maker in the area, there’s so many spots — like the The Cheese Guys at Malivoire Winery or the chefs bar at Backhouse where Chef Ryan Crawford serves up house made curds and whey — that celebrate cheese in all it’s glory, we’d be fools to not include them on this list!
Did you know Balderson Cheese started as a dairy collective in 1881 in Lanark County? You do now. The area is also home to Back Forty Artisan Cheese where they make raw ewe milk cheeses named after time hamlet’s in the area like Flower Station and Madawaska. True cheese lovers will also want to pilgrimage to The Mammoth Cheese — a replica of the original giant that weighed over 22,000 pounds!