Doesn’t really have the same ring to it does it? But we’ve been selling cheese now for years. It was the logical extension of our vast deli counter that now, along with charcuterie and salads, can provide you with the perfect picnic, party platter or cold supper. Currently space only allows us to sell cheese at our Kensington location but you can still get your cheese on at our Gerrard branch too. Just get all your charcuterie and meaty requirements with us and then head directly across the street to Pantry Fine Cheese for the fromage.
Cheese has had such an impact on our business, it stole one of employees. Steve Ward, long-time meat hawker in the Kensington shop, is now the lead cheese maker at Monforte Cheese in Stratford. Whey to be, Steve!
In case you’re thinking that you too might drop your current gig and become a cheese maker, Steve will tell you it’s no (cheese) cakewalk. “It’s an exacting and unforgiving process. Your job is trying to make a consistent product with the ever-variable ingredient of milk which is the product of an animal. An animal that experiences different environments, weather, grazing etc. I’m not using automated paddles. I’ve got my hands in there. I’m feeling the curds, the releasing of the whey - It’s artisanal.”
So please consider some of Steve’s efforts and those of our other all-Ontario cheese makers.
Monforte Providence Saler
Firm cheddar-style. Very nice caramel start followed by a balance of fruity-sour-tang. Sort of like a serious caramel apple. And if you happened to throw that on a burger? Watch out!
Thornloe Medium Cheddar
Firm. A touch of gratifying grain in the texture. For a younger, all-purpose cheddar, it’s no pushover in the sharpness department.
Semi-firm. Mild and pliant as expected but with a nice sour lactic undertow. Great in caprese salad or, of course, sliced thin on pizza.
Fifth Town Buffalina
Firm Gouda-style. Salty-sweet with a touch of grit leading to an elegant blooming mouth-feel and nice edge of rustic funk on the rind. Great with lighter red wines.
Monforte Waltzing Matilda
Looking for Camembert style soft creamy luxury? Dance your way over here. But don’t overlook the intrigue lent by the delicate layer of ash under the expressive rind.
Monforte Fontina with Fenugreek.
Hard. The fenugreek adds a musky quality of wild mushroom. But the overall effect is balanced while offering one of the bigger flavours in our selection. The rind brings savoury depth. Pair with other full flavours like olives and pickled peppers in a starter tray. And sherry!
Monforte Little Boy Blue.
Soft. Let this drain off its residual moisture before serving. A lovely salty edge of true-blue funky ripeness playing off a sweet milky core. Pass the port.
Hard. A full, round, sweet, fruity delight right out of the gate with subtle funk from the long-aged craggy rind. Great mouth-feel. Feature on a cheese plate after entrée.
Classic expression the style. Soft, creamy, full goaty flavour with tangy lactic core.