People & Places
Ingersoll Cheese & Agriculture Museum
From the Ingersoll Historical Photo Gallery
Ingersoll, home of the first Mammoth Cheese
(a 7,300 pound cheddar made in 1864 using the milk from 2,500 cows) is also home of the Ingersoll Cheese & Agricultural Museum. The museum includes a replica cheese factory from earlier days, as well as a range of cheesemaking artifacts and equipment. You’ll also find an assortment of other artifacts from Ingeroll’s past. For information on the museum (including a virtual museum), go to: http://www.ingersoll.ca/living_here/brief_history.html
La route fromages fins du Québec
Or, in English, the Quebec Cheese Route. Quebec has been at the forefront of the artisan cheese movement in Canada since it began in the 1970s. Today, there are more than 100 artisan producers scattered across the province – just waiting for you to drop by. In 1998, the Conseil de l’industrie laitière du Québec (CILQ) and the Association laitière de la chèvre du Québec (ALCQ) banded together to form the La route fromages fins du Québec – a cheese route for Quebec artisan cheeses. The route was launched as an incentive for cheesehounds to travel the province and discover cheeses that reflect Quebec’s traditions and terroir. To help cheese enthusiasts, organizers have produced a detailed map with the locations and addresses of 110 participating cheesemakers. For details on the route and printable maps, go to
Pine River Cheese Factory
If you are in the Goderich or Kincardine area, it’s worth taking a short side-trip to Pine River where you’ll find the Pine River Cheese Factory. Established in 1885, this factory is a farmer owned co-operative renowned for its quality cheddar cheese and deliciously squeaky cheddar curds.
Monday to Friday, the factory provides access to an indoor viewing gallery that offers you a bird’s eye view of the cheesemaking process (the best time to catch the action is in the morning). There’s also a small museum that provides a history of the company and recounts the glory days of cheddar production in Ontario.
Once you’ve taken in the viewing gallery and museum, drop by the on-site store. If you’re looking for a cheddar with zing, you’ll find it here; Pine River offers three, five, seven and eight-year-old aged cheddar. You'll also find an assortment of other cheeses and – hold on to your hat – a range of cheese fudges (chocolate, raspberry and Irish cream).
Okay, Gorilla Cheese isn’t really a place. It’s Canada’s first mobile food truck to specialize in grilled cheese sndwiches. Think of your favourite chip truck – only this one has the face of a big gorilla painted on the side and serves up gourmet grilled cheeses sandwiches, homemade tomato soup, and homemade baked beans.
Of course, being a truck, it moves around (Hamilton, Ontario and the surrounding area) – so to find out where the gorilla is hanging out on a given day, you’ll need to check the daily schedule posted on their website (www.gorillacheese.com). When you track down the gorilla, don`t be surprised if there’s a bit of a line.
I caught up with the Gorilla Cheese truck for lunch one Friday and ordered a Lumberjack sandwich. As far as grilled cheese sandwiches go, this one was pretty darned good. It was loaded up with melted cheddar, thick bacon, sliced green apple and a smidge of maple syrup — all tucked between two slices of goldren grilled white bread. On that day, there were six sandwiches on the menu board, including a “dessert” sandwich — all ranging in price from $7 to $9. While that might seem a little pricey for a grilled cheese, I have to say that my Lumberjack was worth every penny of the $8 I paid.