Quebec cheeses have long enjoyed international renown. The taste for this farm food has evolved well over the years, enriched by numerous cultural and technological contributions. The first colonists in the New France period brought with them certain cheese traditions, and then the English technical innovations made it possible to develop Québec’s know-how. Towards the end of the 19th century, the increase in milk production and the growing demand for cheese produced in Quebec stimulated the dairy industry: cheddar became one of the jewels of Québec’s agricultural economy. While cheese production has long been limited to a few varieties, hundreds of cheeses from all regions can now be found in Quebec. The audacity of certain Quebec artisans combined with the ancestral craftsmanship of craftsmen who came more recently from France and other European countries have considerably enriched and diversified Québec production. If it has a long history, this precious food heritage seems promised to a succulent future!
While France can boast some 1,000 cheeses, some of which have existed for hundreds of years, Quebec is now doing very well, given its relatively young history. Indeed, Québec producers have gradually established themselves on the market of flavors: consumers and gastronomers from here and elsewhere give pride of place to the 350 varieties of cheeses from Quebec, showing phenomenal growth over the last thirty years . This popularity is part of the strong demand for local products, a trend that is observed in all western countries as well as in Quebec and which is explained by the desire to return to a Authenticity by consuming healthy food, strongly anchored in the territory
Québec cheeses have enjoyed an international reputation in recent years. Thus, there is a veritable revolution in fine cheeses from Quebec, not only at the level of taste but also in its qualitative diversity. Indeed, the reputation of Quebec cheese products now exceeds our borders: some cheese factories have distinguished themselves by winning prestigious awards, notably at the annual competition of the American Cheese Society, the Grand Prix of Canadian cheeses and especially the World Championship Cheese Contest. In total, between 2000 and 2010, Quebec cheeses won nearly one hundred awards, medals and national and international awards. A few rare cheese makers from here have also had the honor of being inducted into the International Guild of Cheesemakers, a French select club with 5,500 members in 33 countries
These days you can ask a passer-by about his cheese preferences, and you will hear these evocative, if not poetic, names: Cantonnier de Warwick, Mi-Carême, Riopelle, Sir Laurier d’Arthabaska, Migneron, Ciel de Charlevoix, Le Grand 2, Pied-De-Vent… Definitely something to be proud about…
What is your favorite Quebec cheese ?