In spite of our short Canadian growing season, Ontario produces nearly 500,000 tonnes of commercial fruit each year, just behind Quebec and British Columbia. This is evident in the abundance and variety of ripe and flavourful offerings at farmer’s markets and grocery stores all summer long.
While of course fruit is a wonderful thing on its own, pairing local fruit and cheese unlocks a whole new level of palate-pleasing potential. Salt is a natural flavour enhancer, which both boosts and layers flavours and textures enjoyed together. The crisp sweetness of summer fruit with the creamy saltiness of Ontario cheese provides the contrast transformative food experiences rely on.
Cheese boards are always a wonderful way to sample the terroir of a region, and well-paired fruit and cheese delivers the true taste of summer in every bite. Take along an artisan cheese and summer fruit board for your next picnic, at your backyard get-together or on lazy afternoons on your porch or patio.
Ontario Brie & Strawberries
The mild, buttery and slightly earthy creaminess of Ontario Brie is the perfect partner for the sweet juiciness of ripe, locally grown strawberries.
Look for Ontario artisan Brie like Bridgid’s Brie from Gunn’s Hill Artisan Cheese (Woodstock, ON), Albert’s Leap Bel Haven Brie from Quality Cheese (Vaughan, ON) or Evanturel from Thornloe Cheese (Thornloe, ON).
Ontario Feta & Watermelon
This is a flavour trend worth bringing to your next cheeseboard! This crumbly brined cow’s milk cheese provides the perfect saltiness to match the crisp sweetness of local watermelon.
You can find local cow’s milk feta in your grocery store from Tre Stelle or look for the Blue Cow logo!
Ontario Cheddar Curds & Apple
Cheddar cheese and apple is a seminal pairing, but it’s worth the effort to seek our fresh Cheddar curd to pair with crisp apple. The salty (and squeaky!) softness of fresh curd with apple is an undeniable winner.
Most local Cheddar makers like Empire Cheese (Campbellford, ON), Bright Cheese (Bright, ON) or Upper Canada Creamery (Iroquois, ON), Maple Dale Cheese (Plainfield, ON), Thornloe Cheese (Thornloe, ON) or St-Albert Cheese (St-Albert, ON) offer fresh curds on select days, but you can also find amazing curds at grocery stores from local cheesemakers or from St-Albert, Thornloe Cheese or Brights!
Ontario Smoked Gouda & Cherries
This is a kingly pairing. The richness of aged and smoked Ontario Gouda is perfectly matched by the deep flavours of ripe, locally grown cherries.
Look for Farmstead Smoked Gouda or Chili Pepper Smoked Gouda for an extra kick from Mountainoak Cheese (New Hamburg, ON) or from Thunder Oak Cheese Farm (Thunder Bay, ON).
Ontario Cottage Cheese, Cantaloupe & Fresh Mint
If you’ve never tried the classic pairing of fresh, ripe cantaloupe and cottage cheese, you’re missing out. Cottage cheese is essentially cheese curds and cream, and their perfectly presented in cantaloupe with a sprig of fresh mint.
Great news! You can easily find cottage cheese at your local grocery store from creamy to low-fat versions. Just check the packaging to find out where it was made or look for the Blue Cow logo!