Lancaster, Ontario’s Glengarry Fine Cheese has been in the cheese-making business since the 1990s
Newly crowned the winner in a global cheese competition, a small Canadian company is proving it doesn’t take centuries to perfect a fine cheese. Lancaster, Ontario company Glengarry Fine Cheese walked away with the top prize in the prestigious Global Cheese Awards held this fall in Somerset, England, the birthplace of cheddar.
Glengarry’s Lankaaster aged loaf, a hard Gouda-style cheese aged just two years when entered in the competition, was named Global Supreme Champion at the competition. The traditionally shaped cheese is meant to be sliced and eaten directly on bread as Dutch farmers do.
It has a unique profile due to the specific starter culture the plant uses to create a cheese typical of those made on Dutch farms earlier in the century, according to the company’s website.
“You eat a piece of it and you want to go in a closet alone and keep eating it. It is a cheese that you will never forget the taste of,” cheese maker and company owner Margaret Peters-Morris is quoted as saying in a recent Globe and Mail article.
She has been making cheese only since the early 1990s. The milk comes from Peters-Morris’s farm; the dairy is located across the road from the cheese plant. A family of Dutch heritage, Gouda was their first choice when selecting a cheese to start producing, according to Glengarry Fine Cheese website.
The firm now additionally produces two types of blue cheese, two hard cheeses including the Lankaaster, plus another called the Glengarry Fen, as well as three washed-rind cheeses, and one soft lactic bloomy.
One of Glengarry’s two soft blue cheeses, called the Celtic Blue, earned a bronze at the same competition this fall.
“The overall love of cheese in our family propelled Margaret’s interest to add more varieties to the repertoire with trips abroad to learn more about farmstead cheese making and eventually developing recipes that are the basis of the varieties produced in the plant today,” the company’s website says. “To have an artisan plant was Margaret’s dream and is now her life’s vocation, to be on a farm making cheese in the county where she grew up.”
The Canadian cheese stood out in a competition featuring 167 categories of the world’s finest cheeses.
The Global Cheese Awards, formerly called the Frome Cheese Show, has showcased top artisanal cheeses and their makers since 1861.