La Ferme Flavoury – July 2021

Happy Canada Day.  We have made it to July, the month of warm weather, cottage visits, and perhaps even some travel. Restaurants are starting to serve customers and we are all so excited to be sharing meals with our friends and families.  We are all hopeful that life will return to “normal”, whatever that will mean in the future.

Our website is now live and we hope you have requested a log-in. You will be able to explore our entire catalogue of meats, cheeses and pantry items and place orders online, if you desire.  If you need any assistance feel free to contact [email protected] and she will walk you through the process. Please note that website access is currently being provided to our wholesale customers only.

The Great Canadian Cheddar

Cheddar Cheese originates from the town of Cheddar, in Somerset, England but if you ask Canadians about the history of Cheddar, many will try to claim bragging rights for Canada.  This may be due to the fact that over 30% of cheese eaten in Canada is of the Cheddar variety or because there are over 30 Cheddar cheese producers throughout the country.  According to Statistics Canada, it was estimated that approximately 160,000 metric tons of Cheddar cheese were produced in Canada in 2020.  That is a lot of Cheddar cheese!

In order for cheese to be classified as “Cheddar”, it must go through the “Cheddaring” process.  To make Cheddar the curds are cut up and pressed together into slabs. The weight of stacking the slabs of curds on top of one another presses out even more moisture. Then the slabs of curds are cut up again, pressed into slabs again and stacked again. This is cheddaring. The process continues until so much whey is expelled that after aging, the cheese will have a crumbly, layered, dense texture.

Cheddar comes in a variety of forms including bandage-wrapped, waxed, flavoured and aged.  At La Ferme we sell both Cow and Goat cheddars from a variety of artisanal producers – last count we had cheddars from 8 different Canadian suppliers, plus numerous options for English and Scottish cheddars as well.  How do you pick?  Tasting is the best way.  We surveyed some of our staff for their favourite cheddar, and guess what, 5 different Canadian Cheddars received votes!

2 Year Cheddar from Fromagerie de l’Île-aux-Grues,  Avonlea Clothbound Cheddar from Cows Creamery, Lindsay Bandaged goat Cheddar from Lenberg Farms, 3-year Old from Cows Creamery Cheddar, and Gédéon from Fromagerie Medard.

Seed to Sausage

Seed to Sausage is a thriving small business producing hand crafted cured meats and charcuterie.  Mike McKenzie learned the trade while travelling through Europe and he began his business in Sharbot Lake, Ontario in 2011.  The meats used to produce the charcuterie are sourced from local farmers and the animals are raised in an ethical way. The company can even trace the sausage back to the seed that was used in the animals’ feed, hence the company’s name!

La Ferme was been working together with Seed to Sausage since the company’s inception.  Far and away our biggest sellers are the naturally fermented dry cured Chorizo and Saucisson Sec along with the bacon.  Their offering has expanded over the years to include many varieties of cured meats and sausages.  If you are looking for an authentically smoked meat sandwich, look no further than Seed to Sausage’s Montreal Smoked Meat.  You will not be disappointed.

New at LFBR: Stonetown Artisan Cheese

To celebrate Canada Day, we are thrilled to be adding Stonetown Artisan Cheese to La Ferme’s stable of partners. Yolanda and Hans Weber are dairy farmers and cheesemakers based in St. Marys, Ontario. Stonetown produces high-quality unpasteurized Alpine-style cheeses right in our backyard.

Here’s their story straight from the source:

With our three children in tow, we immigrated to Canada in 1996 to begin a new life in St. Marys, Ontario where we could start our own dairy farm. Having previously worked in the Swiss Alps, it was always our dream to produce delicious, high quality cheese reminiscent of the renowned Swiss Mountains and made from our own milk. With a profound commitment to creating cheese of the highest quality and the support of our family along with Ramon Eberle, a Master Cheese Maker from Switzerland, our humble dream became a reality.

Our commitment to produce high quality cheese is best reflected in the care we give to our Holstein cows. They live in a clean and comfortable free stall barn, sleep year round on beach sand and enjoy feed of the best quality and even have their own spa like back scratcher!

It’s hard to pick just one, but Stonetown’s Grand Trunk, the 2016 and 2017 Winner at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, and the 2018 Winner at the British Empire Cheese Competition, is a Gruyere-style cheese with a bold, nutty flavour, that you need to try! The Homecoming is creamy and complex, an incredible version of authentic Swiss Tilsit. Capri Ella goat cheese has a distinctly natural mild earthy flavour, great for snacking or melting, while the washed rind and more aged, Amazing Grey brings more pronounced aromatic and sweeter notes to the party.

Our initial offering will include the following cheeses.

Farmstead Emmental
Homecoming
Wildwood
Grand Trunk
Capri Ella (goat)
Amazing Grey (goat)

Reach out to your sales representative for sizes, pricing and more.

New from the Cheese Fridge: Grillou

Grillou is new Halloumi-style cheese from one of our favourite cheesemakers in Quebec, Fromagerie Nouvelle-France. Halloumi is typically made from a blend of milks, most often sheep and goat, but also cow (sometimes all three), depending on the season. Grillou is made with the most traditional combination, a blend of goat and sheep milk, giving it some additional complexity and depth of flavour.

Once grilled, the semi-soft perfectly salted paste becomes soft on the inside and crispy and brown on the outside. You can sear it in a pan, or it’s great to get some grill marks on the BBQ!

Pro tip: If you’re grilling Halloumi on your BBQ, make sure it’s not too hot! While this cheese has a very high melting point, it will melt at a certain temperature (it can vary). If you get your BBQ up to 600 degrees you’ll have a mess on your hands.

The name Grillou is an intentional reference to grilling, but was also a way to describe a tin artisan in some regions of France. This year, Fromagerie Nouvelle-France is celebrating its 10th anniversary, sometimes known as the Tin Anniversary, so the name seemed to perfectly reference traditional French roots of the cheesemaker as well as the process of preparing it.

This month, La Ferme is offering a mixed case on promotion. Each case contains 4 plain, 3 herb, and 3 chili.

July Promotions

In July we are celebrating Canada with an assortment of Canadian products from across the country. For pricing or other information, please speak with your La Ferme representative.

La Ferme Flavoury – June 2021

Summer is almost here and with it, hopefully the end of the COVID-19 lockdown in Ontario.  This means a return to restaurant dining and lots of home entertaining – finally.  We must all do our part to support local restaurants and retailers who have suffered through six months of hardship. We are so excited to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, weddings and other life events in person and we are optimistic that we will be doing these things very soon. Father’s Day is just three weeks away and hopefully we will be able to gather together for some family celebrations. Be sure to check out our  Consumer Boxes page for some Father’s Day Specials

Our website is now live and we hope you have requested a log-in. You will be able to explore our entire catalogue of meats, cheeses and pantry items and place orders online, if you desire.  If you need any assistance feel free to contact [email protected] and she will walk you through the process. Please note that website access is currently being provided to our wholesale customers only.

Too Much Waste?

Have you thrown away any food over the past week? If so, you are likely joining over 75% of Canadian families that have done so too. At La Ferme, we have made a commitment to better manage and reduce waste in 2021 and we hope that our customers will join us in this initiative. The delicate year that has just passed has reinforced the need to manage this process for economic, social and environmental purposes. The table attached provides some useful insights into where food waste occurs through Canada’s food chain.  We try to operate our business on a just-in-time inventory management system. This requires a very close partnership with the farms and suppliers we work with, as well as a very closely managed transportation and distribution system.  By providing customers with the freshest product possible and maintaining proper temperature control, we are doing our part to ensure that our products are delivered, processed, sold and consumed before spoilage occurs.

Health Canada provides strict guidance for food consumption including best before dates and expiration dates, which are not the same. The best-before date indicates that if the product has been properly handled the unopened product should be of high quality until the specified date. Best-before dates are about food quality and not food safety. Expiration dates are only required on certain foods and after the expiration date, they may not have the same nutritional content as declared on the label.

How can you do your part to reduce waste?  For all sectors the most important priority is to plan conservatively.  Restaurants must choose the correct preservation methods and plan menus that incorporate products in more than one way.  Retailers must focus on conservation techniques and are in the best position to educate consumers on product imperfections and best before dating. Consumers should focus on meal planning, food storage and how to interpret food product dating.

Biobio

BiobioBiobio’s parent company, Gattuso, was founded in 1936 by Pasquale Gattuso in Montreal’s Villeray neighbourhood. The company started out importing and representing quality European brands in Canada, and at one time were one of the largest olive processors in the world.

In 2004 they launched Biobio, making cheese with organic milk from Quebec farms and certified by Québec Vrai and Aliments du Québec. With decades of experience working with top imports, Biobio has become a significant brand in Quebec and Canada’s responsible and sustainable agro-food industry.

Biobio produces certified organic versions of many classic cheeses like Cheddar, Gouda, Mozzarella, and Parmesan, but also utilizes their roots, importing some of Europe’s best. Organic Spanish Manchego, Italian Parmigiano-Reggiano, and Greek Feta complement Biobio’s domestic offerings.

The Biobio cheeses are on special at La Ferme for the month of June. Reach out to your sales representative for more information.

Better than Yia Yia’s Mediterranean Dips

In September 2016, Joanne and Deanna Dickens launched their all-natural Authentic Greek Dips in Toronto. Made with premium ingredients including First Pressed Greek Extra Virgin Olive Oil, Ontario yogurt and feta, and pure lemon juice, the dips will transport you directly to a beach side taverna in Santorini.  Everything is made without preservatives, water or fillers, and are healthy and delicious.

As a local Toronto & GTA run company, everything is made fresh to order. What is better than a picnic in the sun with some delicious, rich, and savoury dips to enjoy with friends and family? Nothing! These days as we are all looking for ways to enjoy the outdoors together, why not inspire your shoppers to enjoy the warmer weather with some hand-crafted dips? 

Dips can be ordered by the unit and varieties include Lemony Hummous, Tirokafteri (a spicy feta dip), Tzatziki, Taramasolata, Honey Yogurt, and Gigantes Baked Beans.

Firing Up the BBQ with La Ferme

Soon we will be able to gather in groups of 10 outside, and there is no better way to gather with friends and family than with a BBQ to bring us together. All Canadians equate summer with BBQ season and we are ready to help you fire up the grill with premium meats, poultry and even cheese.

We have a new selection of game sausages now available. In addition to our popular Wild Boar & Mushroom and Venison with Dijon sausages we are now offering Bison and Blueberry, Crocodile with Chicken and Pork, Kangaroo with Fine Herbs, Venison Toulouse, and Duck and Orange sausages.

We also have an assortment of burgers including grassfed Beef, Wagyu Beef, Elk, Bison, Venison and Wild Boar.

If you like to add grilled cheese to your salads, be sure to try our Bedouin Halloumi, St. Vallier Halloumi, or the Grillou, a new sheep and goat milk Halloumi-style cheese from Fromagerie Nouvelle-France.

June Promotions

In June we’re featuring some of our favourite products on promotion. For pricing or other information, please speak with your La Ferme representative.

La Ferme Flavoury – May 2021

Spring has sprung and with it, the nicer weather has also arrived. Unfortunately we will be celebrating our second Mother’s Day under COVID-19 restrictions. As we have learned over the past year, the craving for fine meats, cheeses and charcuterie has never been greater and we are excited to share new products, gifts and cooking ideas.

Our website is now live and you can sign up for a log-in.   You can also peruse our online product catalog for our complete selection of meats, charcuterie, cheeses and pantry items and also place orders directly on our website.

Corporate & Personal Gift Boxes

We may not be able to have large parties but we have helped many companies celebrate the holidays, corporate milestones and retirement parties with our custom curated gift boxes.  Virtual parties with cheese and charcuterie from La Ferme will make your Zoom gatherings so much more fun and tasty!  We will also be curating themed gift boxes to help you celebrate special occasions such as Mother’s Day and Father’s day so be sure to to review our selections.  For more information, see our Consumer Boxes page. Our Mother’s Day selection is available now through May 7th, 2021.  Order soon while quantities are available.

New from the Cheese Fridge: Gédéon

Gédéon

Gédéon is an artisanal cheddar aged for one year. This farmhouse cheddar is made from the whole milk of Swiss Brown cows that are fed in the pasture in the summer and dry hay in the winter. It has a smooth texture and fruity taste. The deep colour comes from nutrient rich summer milk from the family farm.

This cheese was named in honour of the village located near the cheese dairy, Saint-Gédéon, Lac St-Jean.

Fromagerie Médard makes great use of the milk from their 100 Swiss Brown cows. In 2017 they invested in a large hay-drier, to prevent feeding their cows fermented feed during the winter months. From April to October they roam free in the pasture.

Some of Fromagerie Médard’s other cheeses include 14 Arpents and Rang des Isles.

Revisiting old favourites: Beemster

Tucked into the North Holland countryside, Beemster is a farmer-owned cooperative that originated in 1901, but their story dates back to the early 1600s, when the Dutch reclaimed a coastal lagoon, creating a polder, where Beemster cows graze to this day.

Beemster XO QuarterThe Beemster Polder, a registered UNESCO World Heritage Site, located in the countryside of North Holland, just miles from the North Sea. The Polder is a former coastal lagoon that was reclaimed from under water in the early 17th century and filled with fields, canals, and dikes, 4 metres below sea level. The region’s slate-blue clay soil contains exceptional levels of nutrients and minerals, making its grasses ideal for grazing animals. Only Beemster cows and goats get to graze on these special grasses, which make their milk sweeter, richer, and creamier. Many consider it the finest milk in the world.

Most Beemster cheeses are naturally lactose-free. During the cheese making process, Beemster washes the curds multiple times, removing most of the lactose. Any remaining lactose breaks down in the ripening stage. Beemster Classic and Beemster XO are naturally lactose-free.

Beemster is one of the most popular and visible Gouda style cheeses on the market. The flavour is sweet and salty and savoury, with strong caramel and nutty notes. Along with Beemster Classic and Beemster XO, be sure to try the Beemster Goat and Beemster Vlaskaas as well.

New from Ferme des Voltigeurs – Chicken Pasta Sauce

When Denise Turcotte-Martel started selling chicken at the market in 1958, she did so out of passion. Almost 60 years later, Ferme des Voltigeurs has become the largest supplier of grain-fed chicken in Quebec.  We believe their chickens to be some of the best on the market today.  The farm is now creating a line of prepared foods and frozen products made with their chicken products.  The chicken pasta sauce contains only Voltigeurs ground chicken, tomatoes and vegetables. Cook up some pasta and you will have a tasty and easy meal.

May Promotions

In May we’re featuring some of our favourite products on promotion. For pricing or other information, please speak with your La Ferme representative.

Kitchen Adventures at La Ferme

This month, Ali, one of our new employees, cooked a Rougie duck breast… and admits, in the true spirit of experimentation that she had to try a few times before she got it right.

Rougie is located in Marrieville, QC and has employed innovative and artisanal farming practices in raising Moulard ducks for over 40 years. Rougie’s Moulard duck breasts are individually vacuum sealed so they are a perfect option for chefs and consumers alike – if you know how to cook them!

During Ali’s first attempt she rendered much of the fat from the thick skin, or fat cap, and ended up with a deep fried duck breast… which  led to a house full of smoke and never ending smoke alarms.

The photo on the left shows the results of Ali’s first attempt at cooking the duck breast – burnt, excessively fatty yet still raw. She cooked the duck breast in a cast iron pan for 8 minutes, skin side down and another 4 minutes after flipping it. The results were not what Ali had hoped for so she knew that another attempt was required.

The La Ferme team gathered in our test kitchen on Townsley to give Ali some cooking tips for “Take 2” of her cooking adventure.

The key difference between the two cooking experiences was finishing the magret in the oven! The taste testing team all agreed that Ali “nailed it” on her second attempt!

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 Degrees Fahrenheit – while also preheating your frying pan on medium heat
  • Rinse & pat dry duck magret
  • Score skin-side and season generously on both sides of meat (we chose fresh ground salt and pepper)
  • Cook duck magret skin-side down for 3-4 minutes on medium high heat in frying pan
  • Flip and let brown for about 1 minute on the other side (until nicely seared)
  • Pop in the oven **in a new baking dish** skin side up for about 5 minutes
  • Slice thinly and ENJOY

We were left with an evenly cooked duck that was crispy, juicy, & delicious with no smoke alarm action!!

If you want to join Ali in her kitchen adventures, order some Rougie duck breasts today and have some fun – hopefully smoke alarm free!

La Ferme Flavoury – April 2021

Welcome to the new La Ferme Black River blog where we’ll keep you up to date with information about new products, our favourite products and any news about our company. You can also peruse our online product catalog for all of the best meats, charcuterie, cheeses and pantry items from our selection.

New from the Pantry: Phyllo Crisps

From Nu Bake, we’re pleased to now be offering Phyllo Crisps, hand made sweet phyllo pastry sheets topped with delicious sweet treats. These go great with our premium quality cheese!

Indulge in this sweet crisp as a lighter substitute to breakfast donuts, evening cookies, or holiday pastries. However, our favorite way to enjoy these phyllo crisps is paired with brie, chevre or goat cheese for a mouth-watering flavor combination.

Carefully layered by hand, fresh Phyllo dough sheets are topped with dried fruit, jumbo oats, pumpkin and sunflower seeds and a dash of cinnamon. They are cut into bite-size pieces and baked to a perfect golden brown, with a finishing drizzle of honey.

  • Apple Cinnamon
  • Cranberry Oat
  • Apricot Honey

For more information, please reach out to your sales representative or call us 647-352-8077

New from the Cheese Fridge: Treizième Apôtre

Fromagerie du Presbytère is one of our favourite cheesemakers, and we’re always excited when they have something new to try. They did not disappoint with their newest cheese, Treizième Apôtre.

Very refined, this semi-firm goat cheese has a rich and creamy texture. Under its beautiful orange ochre washed rind, the uniform white paste overflows with delicate fruity notes.

The milk used for this cheese comes from a goat farm near the Fromagerie du Presbytère in Ste-Elizabeth-de-Warwick.

Supply is limited for this new offering, but we expect it to be a regular stock item. Available in 5 Kg wheels.

April Promotions

In April we’re featuring some of our favourite products!

For sale pricing or other information, please speak with your La Ferme representative.