How good are Quebec cheeses? Well, the lovely ‘Cinderella’ cheese, Cendrillon, was voted Best in the World in 2009. The ash-covered soft goat cheese, with a taste that becomes stronger with age, was the first cheese in the country to receive this prestigious award. You can try Cendrillon and other Quebec cheeses, for free, at the Festival of Quebec Cheeses in Montreal…
As part of the Montreal High Lights Festival, the Festival of Quebec Cheeses will have more than 50 Quebec cheeses to taste and a vast selection of wines during its 6th edition. Here’s a head start: try Caseus, Le Louis d’Or, Le Pizy and Mont-Jacob, which are all top prize winners and more than delicious, so you will probably buy one (or two!) after tasting.
During the event you’ll be able to chat with master cheese-makers. They will explain how different regional qualities (for example: how types of grass affect the milk used for the cheese) define the character of their products. As well, you will have the opportunity to see (and sip!) wines that pair best with the Québecois cheeses.
Two locations for the Festival of Quebec Cheeses
At Complexe Desjardins, you can sample the tasty products in the main concourse. While up at Jean-Talon Market, chefs from Charlevoix, a charming rural area of Quebec where the river, forests and climate contribute to a grassy land rich for goats and cows, will host free workshops in the Mandoline Room. Among the five topics offered each day will be the region’s specialties: lamb, veal, smoked salmon and foie gras. Montreal chef Jean-Paul Grappe will work with four Charlevoix chefs (Jean-Michel Bréton, Mario Chabot, Steve Rondeau and Pascal Gavel) and producers to discuss the yummy variety of products.
Jean-Talon market is the internationally famous outdoor market that is open all year round (yes, even in our snowy months!). This is a really fun market, so you should put aside at least a couple of hours to stroll, to see – and to sample. Many stands put out a free offering of their produce, so you can munch on a bit of local cucumber or celery while trying a sharp cheddar. There will also be free workshops conducted by cheese producers from around Quebec.
February 17-27: Montreal High Lights Festival
February 19-20: Festival of Quebec Cheeses
Jean-Talon Market, 7070 Henri-Julien, Metro: Jean Talon
Complexe Desjardins, 150 St-Catherine Street West, Metro: Place des Arts