Saturday, 22 November 2014

Season's Christmas Show

I wasn't sure whether I should put up this post about a Christmas Show, but I really enjoyed my experience here (with interesting seminars and presentations). Therefore, I thought I'd put up a post that deviates from my usual food posts about places I've eaten at. 
My friend had tickets to the Season's Christmas Show (Nov 21 - 23, 2014), so we went to the International Center to check it out. As we were wandering around the hall, we were freely enjoying the samples and promotional sales until we got to the center and saw the Cheese Seminar. Jackpot! Free cheese samplings and an information session on cheese all in one? Sign me up! (Actually it was 'line up 20 minutes before the session starts to get in')
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The seminar location led by a representative form teh Dairy Farmers of Canada
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Note taking sheet
There are 3 ways to describe cheese: raw, pasterized and thermalized. 

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Baguette accompaniment to cleanse the palate between cheeses
The cheese list: 
1) Bella Casara Ricotta by Quality Cheese was the winner of the best cheese in the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in 2013. It was the first Ontario cheese to win and it was also the first fresh cheese to the competition. When they served us the sample in the spoon, they paired it with some cabernet franc ice syrup to add some sweetness. The cheese was delicate and balanced: not sweet, sour or bitter and despite looking a little lumpy, it went down pretty smooth.
2) Dofino Creamy Havarti by Arla Food was semi soft, mild and a tiny bit sour - but it wasn't bitter or sweet. I learned that washing the curd releases the whey and softens the acidity.
3) L'Ancetre's light mild cheddar was one of my favourites. It's a certified organic and lactose free cheese using unpasturized/raw milk. It had a rubbery texture from the skim milk and had a lot of flavour for a mild cheddar. I learned that if you use whole milk, the texture of the cheese is not as rubbery and aged cheddar forms a dry crumbly texture.
4) COWS Inc.'s Extra Old Cheddar had big flavour: it even lingered long after I finished the cheese.
5) Empire Cheese's caramelized onion cheddar was made with real sauteed onions in the cheese that made a strong impact on the medium cheddar.
6) Mountain Oak Cheese (which is a farmstead producer) had a cheese called Wild Nettle Gouda which was a hard and firm cheese with bold and strong flavours. Fun cheese fact: ivory coloured cheeses are aged cheeses.
Lots of fun and a great learning experience - I learned much more about cheeses and had enjoyed trying everything.

Also, at 4pm, there was a Purdy's Master Chocolatier teaching us about different chocolates from around the world and demonstrating how to make ice wine truffles. 
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