2015 Edition Champions

The Grand Champion and 27 category winners were selected from a record 268 cheese entries submitted by cheese makers from Prince Edward Island to British Columbia. The submissions were then narrowed down to 81 finalists by the jury in February.

Sponsored and hosted every two years by Dairy Farmers of Canada, the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix celebrates the high quality, versatility and great taste of Canadian cheese made from 100% Canadian milk.

Here are the 2015 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix Champions:

GRAND CHAMPION: Fromagerie du Presbytère's Laliberté

The farm Louis D’or has been in the Morin family for 4 generations. This farmstead cheese is made from the milk of naturally raised cows, a mix of Jersey and Holstein cows that graze in their fields in the summer. Named after the famous sculptor from Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick, this aromatic triple crème with its tender bloomy rind encases an unctuous paste. Mushroom and cream when young, it stuns with hints of grasses and root vegetables as it ages.

The following are the 27 category winners of the 9th Canadian Cheese Grand Prix:

Fresh Cheese

Bella Casara Ricotta, Quality Cheese Inc., ON

Quality Cheese represents the fourth generation in a family tradition of cheese making. Bella Casara Ricotta made history at the 8th edition of the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix as the first fresh cheese and the first Ontario cheese to be given the title of Grand Champion. The creamy texture and milky aroma create a ricotta that is refined, delicate and extremely well-balanced.


Fresh pasta filata

Cherry Bocconcini, Natural Pastures Cheese Company, BC

All the milk that goes into Natural Pastures cheese comes from local farms on Vancouver Island. The cows eat the local grass and herbs, generously watered by Pacific Ocean-soaked rain. This cherry-sized Bocconcini, made in the pasta filata manner is tender and moist, white and rindless, unripened with a refreshingly delicate and creamy aroma.


Fresh Cheese with grilling properties

Le Paillasson de l'isle d'Orléans, Les Fromages de l'isle d'Orléans, QC

Les Fromages de l’isle d’Orléans dates back to the beginnings of the colony. The cheese recipe is transmitted from generation to generation for centuries. Vanished from the market for more than 40 years, the company re-launched the product of terroir July 1st, 2004. This artisanal hand crafted cheese with grilling properties has a buttery aroma and a lactic, creamy and light salty flavour. It was given the name of Paillasson in reference to the small carpet of reeds on which, in the days of the ancestors, the cheese was placed to dry above the wood stove in the kitchen.


Soft Cheese with bloomy rind

Comox Brie, Natural Pastures Cheese Company, BC

Comox Brie is made with milk from select Vancouver Island farms. The mild seaside climatic conditions and “terroir” from the farms’ locations contribute to the rare, ambrosial taste. This soft bloomy rind cheese has a creamy buttery texture and fresh flavour with a delicate note of mushroom.


Cream-enriched soft Cheese with bloomy rind

Laliberté, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

The farm Louis D’or has been in the Morin family for 4 generations. This farmstead cheese is made from the milk of naturally raised cows, a mix of Jersey and Holstein cows that graze in their fields in the summer. Named after the famous sculptor from Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick, this aromatic triple crème with its tender bloomy rind encases an unctuous paste. Mushroom and cream when young, it stuns with hints of grasses and root vegetables as it ages.


Semi-soft Cheese

Fleur de Weedon, Fromagerie P'tit Plaisir, QC

The Fromagerie P'tit Plaisir is a family union composed of 6 members: Mr Gaétan Grenier, Madam Céline Grenier, farmers since 1976; their two sons and daughters, Dany, Rémy, Melanie and Maggie, integrated to the company since 1997. This lactose free farm cheese is hand crafted with pasteurized milk from the Holsteins cows of the Grenier family farm in Saint-Gérard-de-Weedon. Its taste and its mild aroma of butter, hazelnuts nuts and cream are obtained with controlled maturation. Its brand name was based on the City of Weedon’s logo.


Washed or mixed-rind soft Cheese

L'Origine de Charlevoix, Laiterie Charlevoix Inc., QC

Founded in 1948 by Elmina Fortin and Stanislas Labbé, Laiterie Charlevoix is still owned by the Labbé family. Stanislas and Elmina's great grandchildren are the fourth generation to work in the company. Made exclusively with milk from Canadienne breed cows, this cheese has a fine velvety rind, varying from yellow to orange in colour and a mild fuity and nutty taste that lingers after its soft and uniform centre has been enjoyed.


Washed or mixed-rind semi-soft Cheese

Raclette, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser Inc., QC

Fritz Kaiser moved to Canada from his native Switzerland and established Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser in 1981. Leading the way in the creation of Canadian “Raclette”, this semi-soft, washed rind cheese has a smooth texture and a prominent hazelnut aroma which follows through in the flavour. The term raclette comes from the French word "racler", meaning “to scrape”. Traditionally, raclette would be melted and scraped onto potatoes and served with gherkins and pickled onions. Enjoy Raclette Fritz on its own, as part of a fondue, or in the traditional way.


Washed or mixed-rind firm Cheese

Alfred Le Fermier 18 months, Fromagerie La Station, QC

Alfred Le Fermier is named after the family’s great grandfather, Alfred Bolduc, who immigrated to Canada from France at the beginning of the 20th Century and founded the farm. This firm, washed rind cheese is made from the certified organic raw milk from the family’s purebred Holsteins. Carefully aged for 18 months on wooden boards, the yellowish-orange washed rind produces a pleasant woodsy aroma, and can be distinguished by its apparent floral and hazelnut well balanced flavour, and sturdy texture.


Firm Cheese (except Cheddar and Gouda)

Heidi, The Farm House Natural Cheeses, BC

The family farm located in the lush Fraser Valley is home to the herd of Guernsey and Brown Swiss cows that provide all the milk for the cheese. Using only the rich summer milk when the cows’ graze in the pastures, this firm washed rind cheese has a beautiful dark golden paste. Aged for a minimum of 8 months, Heidi reaches its peak at 1 year. The flavour is deep and rich with grassy notes.


Swiss type Cheese

Louis D'or, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

The Louis D’or farm has been in the Morin family for 4 generations. This farmstead cheese is made with raw milk from a mix of Jersey and Holstein cows that graze their fields in the summer. Inspired by cheese made in the Jura region of France, Louis D’or is made in a beautiful 40 kg wheel. This firm, washed and brushed rind cheese has delicious flavour notes of nuts and fruit and leaves one with a lingering taste of sweet milk.


Mozzarella (ball, brick or cylinder) or pasta filata

Oaxaca, Local Dairy Products, ON

The Singh family has been making cheese in Ingersoll, Ontario for 16 years, breaking new ground in the ethnic cheese business. Their cheese, Oaxaca (pronounced oh-hock-ah), is a Mexican mozzarella-type, a light and stringy white cheese great for melting, named after the region where it was born. It is hand-stretched in boiling water and sold in a distinctive knotted ball.


Brine-ripened Cheese

Feta Cheese, Tiras Dairies Inc., AB

Tiras Dairies is a locally owned and operated dairy plant located in the city of Camrose, Alberta. This Feta cheese is a semi soft, white cheese made from pasteurized cow milk, with a unique texture and flavor. It is soaked in salt brine and it has a strong, salty taste and creamy texture that crumbles easily. The longer the aging process, the harder and more crumbly the cheese gets. The cheese, when packaged, is cut into bricks and covered in brine.


Gouda (aged 1 to 6 months)

Gouda Medium, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB

The Schalkwijk family moved to Alberta from Holland in 1995 to start a farm. Not finding any cheese that compared to their homeland they started making cheese in 1999 with the milk from their own cows. All Sylvan Star cheeses are made with heat treated milk and all cheeses are lactose free. This 5 months aged Gouda has a creamy smooth texture with a slightly tangy flavor.


Aged Gouda

Gouda Aged, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB

The Schalkwijk family moved to Alberta from Holland in 1995 to start a farm. Not finding any cheese that compared to their homeland they started making cheese in 1999 with the milk from their own cows. All Sylvan Star cheeses are made with heat treated milk and all cheeses are lactose free. This 9-12 month aged Gouda has a rich flavour with a mixture of nuts, butter and toffee, a strong texture with some crystallization, while remaining smooth and creamy to the palate.


Extra aged Gouda

Mountainoak Farmstead Premium Dutch Gold, Mountainoak Cheese Ltd., ON

After emigrating from Holland in 1996, the van Bergeijk’s started dairy farming, however their love of cheesemaking soon had them making cheese for their own consumption. Luckily, some cheesemaking equipment found their way with them and, with encouragement from family and friends, Mountainoak Cheese opened their doors in the fall of 2012. Starting off with fresh, raw milk from the family’s herd of Holsteins and then thermalizing it, creates the full, rich flavour in this cheese, which is slightly sweet and nutty. Aged 15 to 18 months, the hints of butterscotch and caramel on the finish, is characteristic of aged goudas.


Blue Cheese

Le Bleu d'Élizabeth, Fromagerie du Presbytère, QC

Produced in an old church on the Morin family farm, which has been in the family for 4 generations, this thermalized, semi-soft, blue cheese is made from the milk of the Morin family’s Jersey and Holstein cows. The unique taste and perfect balance of salt and sweetness in this cheese is sure to please even the most discriminating of cheese connoisseurs.


Flavoured Cheese with added non-particulate flavouring (except smoked cheese)

Griffon Raclette, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser Inc., QC

Fritz Kaiser moved to Canada from his native Switzerland and established Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser in 1981. Leading the way in the creation of Canadian “Raclette”, this semi-soft Cheese, Rind washed with Griffon beer, with a fruity aroma and a sharp hazelnutty and malt flavour.


Smoked Cheese

Gouda Smoked Natural Cheese, Sylvan Star Cheese Ltd., AB

The Schalkwijk family moved to Alberta from Holland in 1995 to start a farm. Not finding any cheese that compared to their homeland they started making cheese in 1999 with the milk from their own cows. All Sylvan Star cheeses are made with heat treated milk and all cheeses are lactose free. Carefully aged 4 months, it is smoked for 12 hours using maple wood in their own smokehouse.


Flavoured Cheese with added particulate solids and flavouring

Pepper Raclette, Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser Inc., QC

Fritz Kaiser moved to Canada from his native Switzerland and established Fromagerie Fritz Kaiser in 1981. Leading the way in the creation of Canadian “Raclette”, this semi-soft, washed rind cheese with green pepper corns has a prominent hazelnut aroma which follows through with a sharp peppery and fruity flavour.


Mild Cheddar (aged 3 months)

L'Ancêtre Organic Mild Cheddar, Fromagerie L'Ancêtre Inc., QC

Formed in 1992 by a group of 10 dairy farmers with their own ideas about how to work the land, L’Ancêtre produces organic cheese. Aged for about 3 months, this mild cheddar is made from organic raw milk. It is cream-yellow in colour with a smooth texture, slightly elastic and it has a subtle milky aroma.


Medium Cheddar (aged 4 to 9 months)

L'Ancêtre Organic Medium Cheddar, Fromagerie L'Ancêtre Inc., QC

Formed in 1992 by a group of 10 dairy farmers with their own ideas about how to work the land, L’Ancêtre produces organic cheese. Aged for about 6 months, this medium cheddar is made from organic raw milk and is lactose free. It is cream-yellow in colour, with a firm silky texture, slightly elastic and has a mild creamy flavour.


Old Cheddar (aged from 9 months to a year)

Traditional Clothbound Cheddar 9 to 12 months, The Farm House Natural Cheeses, BC

The family farm located in the lush Fraser Valley is home to the herd of Guernsey and Brown Swiss cows that provide all the milk for the cheese. Using the original clothbound method, Farm House Natural Cheese is one of the few cheesemakers in Canada making this style of cheddar. Hand made using the cheddaring process, the curds are placed in a 10kg cloth lined mold. After pressing, the cloth is rubbed in lard to protect the cheese resulting in deep complex flavours, earthy around the cloth area with a good balance of sharpness and floral notes. Available aged for 6 months, 1 year and 18 months.


Aged Cheddar (1 to 3 years)

Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar, Cows Creamery, PE

Originally, cheddar was made in wheel shapes, wrapped in cheesecloth. Armand Bernard has revived this tradition, following in the style of great English farmstead cheddars. Avonlea is made with raw, Holstein cow milk, which is then thermalized. The cheese is aged for 14 months under carefully monitored temperature and humidity conditions. The aroma and flavour of this cheese is uniquely PEI, reminiscent of fresh, unwashed potatoes, grassy yet both sweet and tangy on the finish.


Aged Cheddar (more than 3 years)

Extra Old Cheddar 5 Years, St-Albert Cheese Cooperative Inc., ON

Five generations of farmers and craftsmen have been a part of the St-Albert Co-Operative, originally founded in 1894. 5 years of natural aging develops the crumbly rich texture and fully mature cheddar sharp taste with a complex spectrum of nutty, salt and slightly fruity flavours.


Farmhouse Cheese

Handeck, Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese Ltd., ON

This firm, washed rind cheese is made in a similar method to typical Swiss mountain style cheeses. Owner and cheesemaker, Shep Ysselstein studied cheese making in Switzerland and it influences all of his cheeses. Handeck, aged 16 months, is firm, rich with complex flavours and a nutty aroma. All the milk used to produce this cheese comes from the family’s dairy farm.


Organic Cheese

Alfred Le Fermier 18 months, Fromagerie La Station, QC

Alfred Le Fermier is named after the family’s great grandfather, Alfred Bolduc, who immigrated to Canada from France at the beginning of the 20th Century and founded the farm. This firm, washed rind cheese is made from the certified organic raw milk from the family’s purebred Holsteins. Carefully aged for 18 months on wooden boards, the yellowish-orange washed rind produces a pleasant woodsy aroma, and can be distinguished by its apparent floral and hazelnut well balanced flavour, and sturdy texture.

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