Ontario is renowned for its vibrant culinary scene. Among its culinary treasures are the outstanding cheeses produced by local artisans and dairy farms. In this blog article, we embark on a journey to explore the top 5 Ontario cheeses that epitomize the province's dedication to crafting exceptional dairy delights. From smooth and creamy to rich and robust, these cheeses showcase the diverse flavors and textures that Ontario has to offer.
1. Upper Canada Cheese: Niagara Gold
Nestled in the Niagara Escarpment, Upper Canada Cheese offers the exquisite Niagara Gold, a washed-rind semi-firm cheese. Made from the milk of local Guernsey cows, Niagara Gold features a luscious buttery flavor with hints of nuttiness and fruitiness. Its beautiful orange rind adds a touch of visual appeal to this exceptional artisanal cheese.
- Gunn's Hill Artisan Cheese: Five Brothers
Named after the five Gunn brothers who run the dairy farm, Five Brothers cheese is a testament to the Gunn family's dedication to traditional cheesemaking methods. This semi-soft cheese is inspired by Swiss-style cheeses and boasts a robust and savory flavor profile. Its natural rind imparts earthy undertones, while its smooth texture makes it perfect for melting over dishes or savoring on a charcuterie board.
- St. Albert Cheese Cooperative: Cheddar
Founded in 1894, the St. Albert Cheese Cooperative has been a pillar of Ontario's dairy heritage. Their classic cheddar cheese is a true crowd-pleaser, characterized by its sharp and tangy taste. Aged to perfection, this cheddar develops delightful complexity, making it a versatile ingredient in cooking or a delightful addition to any cheese platter.
- Udder Way Cheese Company: Oveja Negra
Nestled in Stoney Creek, Udder Way Cheese Company beat out makers from Spain and Italy to take the top prize for best sheep milk with their Oveja Negra cheese at last year's (2022-2023) world cheese awards in Wales. Many of Udder Way's cheeses have been decorated with multiple international awards. Check out this video of our recent visit there. We had an absolute blast with the team at Udder Way - not only are Tor & Evelina extremely knowledgeable and passionate about their business, but their cheeses are a MUST TRY - especially their award-winning Oveja Negra.
If you are ever in the West end, a visit is necessary - be sure to try their house made gelato as well. Thank you Udder Way for the tour and tastes of your delicious cheeses!
- Monforte Dairy: Toscano
Monforte Dairy's Toscano is a testament to the artistry of cheesemaker Ruth Klahsen. This Italian-style cheese is crafted with care and attention, showcasing a delightful combination of sweet and savory notes. The cheese's natural rind adds complexity to its flavor profile, making it an ideal addition to any cheeseboard or a delightful ingredient in pasta dishes.
Ontario's cheese artisans have mastered the art of crafting exceptional dairy delights, and these top 5 cheeses are shining examples of their dedication and passion. Whether you're a local looking to explore the province's cheese offerings or a cheese connoisseur from afar, these top 5 Ontario cheeses promise a memorable and delightful tasting experience that celebrates the province's love for quality craftsmanship and exquisite flavors. So, grab a glass of wine and savour the flavors of Ontario's finest cheeses!