Loosely based on the AOC-regulated Beaufort. Laiterie Charlevoix is owned by the Labbé family. The family wanted to create a superior cheese to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the settlement of Quebec City (which occurred in 1608, hence the cheese’s name). To help perfect the recipe and affinage, the family brought in a cheesemaking instructor from France. The cheese is made from the milk of the Vache Canadienne cow. The Vache Canadienne is a dairy breed developed in French Canada from cattle imported from Brittany and Normandy shortly after the settlement of Quebec. It is the only breed of dairy cow native to North America.
Appearance of rind:
A pale orange, washed rind.
Appearance of paste:
A pale yellow paste. (The milk from the Vache Canadienne has a higher butterfat content, contributing to the yellow colour.)
A complex flavor that combines notes of fruit, nuts, and a touch of barn. The cheese has a bit of a tang and an extended finish.
The paste has a beautiful melt-in-your-mouth texture; the washed rind on the other hand is a bit gritty.
Serve with fresh baguette, alongside fresh local fruits (ripe/dried pears, peaches), nuts, and/or pear chutney. Wash down with a glass of Trappist beer or Canadian Gewurztraminer.
This is a cheese with lots of historical context, which makes it a great “conversation piece” on a cheese plate. Even better, it has a somewhat unique and delicious taste.