It all starts with markets where we meet you. We have our small packages of cheese ready to share. Tasting is a big part of the exchange. Head Cheese Maker, Rachel, moves racks under a poster of Ruth.
Making cheese has a very technical side – the ripening rooms are closely monitored. It feels like 10% of the time we are actually making cheese and 90% of the time we are cleaning, cleaning, cleaning the dairy. We love to make cheese and we aspire to get better and better at it.
Small packages of Monforte cheese ready for Constance to distribute at Toronto Markets. We lovingly call Constance and Rachel our market people. Being at market is such an important part of what we do – this is how we find out what you like, what you want…how we can be together in eating locally. This cheese, with the orange label is Bliss. It’s a sheep and cow triple creme. A very rich and unctuous cheese with a white bloomy rind like a brie.
Monforte Toscano is a tomme style sheep milk cheese. Hand pressed with a brushed rind it is aged between 2 and 6 months.
Daniel is rubbing the cheeses in the ripening room – likely listening to Arcade Fire.
Piacere is a soft ripened sheep milk cheese made in the style of fleur de maquis. Rolled in rosemary, summer savoury and chili it becomes creamier and more pungent as it ages.The Goat Gouda has a waxed rind and is a firm, 4 month aged cheese with a sweet and nutty flavour.The Saler is a French cow milk cheese resembling a farm house cheddar. It is both sweet and sharp with a crumbly texture and creamy mouth feel.At Monforte, we believe that ruminants should run on a natural cycle of gestation, birthing and milking and that in the last stages of gestation it is important to allow them to rest. Because of this and the fact that most lambs and kids are born in January or February we receive little milk in December and January. Our milk is just starting back into the dairy and it is an exciting time. By the time the animals go onto pasture we are drowning in milk and don’t know where to put it all. But as they say; make hay while the sun shines.The pyramids of sheep cheese being formed by Laura and Rachel is called Black sheep. This one was inspired by Valencay, the cheese created to celebrate the return of Napoleon from Egypt. A bloomy rind grows over the ash and develops a blue-grey color as the cheese ages, becoming runny in the middle.These little black logs are called Little Prince. Named for Ruth’s youngest son, this chevre is rolled on balsalm ash. As the cheese ages is develops a bloomy rind, becoming more creamy and peppery.The Monforte booth roadside at Scadding Court, across from Toronto Western Hospital in Toronto. One happy customer eating grilled cheese prepared by Ben.