Hello, my cheese-loving friends! If you’ve been following my Instagram stories or feed at all in the past week, you saw that M. Cheesemonger and I vacationed in the Yukon. Where’s that? Well, it’s in Canada, just next to Alaska. M. Cheesemonger and I were there to visit some longtime friends (more on them next week) and explore the terrain. And eat cheese.
We stayed in Whitehorse, the capital of the Yukon, population ≈ 28,000. AND just my luck, there is a rather charming cheese shop in town, Cultured Fine Cheese! It’s tucked in the joint of an indoor shopping corridor downtown near some other lovely shops, so you can get your souvenir and cheese shopping done all together. I wanted to build an all-Canadian cheese board for our hosts, so here it is.
We decorated things with some foraged fireweed, pine cones, and sweet clover (sadly, an invasive species!).
Cendré de Lune
Alexis de Portneuf, cow, pasteurized, vegetarian, Québec, Canada
What a perfect cheese plate starter. This vegetable-ash coated triple cream cheese has a mild mushroom nose, with definite buttery, creamy notes in the flavor. I didn’t even get the first taste because our hosts’ hungry 4-year-old enjoyed the first wedge! This cheese made for a marvelous pair with local fireweed honey. Fireweed, with its spires of fuchsia flowers and long, thin leaves, is everywhere here. It’s also the official Yukon flower. Its honey is light and delicate, perfect for a creamy cheese accompaniment.
Lindsay Bandaged Goat Cheddar
Mariposa Dairy, goat, pasteurized, vegetarian, Ontario, Canada
It’s not every day you see a goat milk cheddar, much less a bandaged goat milk cheddar! The cheese is wrapped in muslin to control the cheese’s moisture as it ages, and this one is aged for 12 months. It has those scrumptious protein crystals that so many of us love (meeeee!), and well-rounded flavors with notes of caramel and pear. With a long finish, you might still taste it 3 minutes after your first morsel, the slight whiff of toffee may linger in your nostrils even longer. If you need a crowd pleaser with pizzazz, go for this one.
Poplar Grove Cheese, cow, pasteurized, British Columbia, Canada
Whoa, why can’t we find Tiger Blue in more of the States? This ridiculously fudgy, powerful blue cheese is like icing for your cheese cake. First off, just look at it! It’s got blue EVERYWHERE, and it’s not from the traditional needling method, where holes are poked through the cheese to encourage the blue penicillium roqueforti molds to grow. Instead, cheesemaker Gitta Sutherland crumbles the curd to create air pockets in the cheese where our favorite blue friends can flourish. Its complex flavors run the gamut from meaty, to vanilla, to dark fruit. A little goes a long with with this one—I mean, its finish seems to last for daaaaays. I’d save this one for dessert so I don’t eat it all before the meal even starts (or not. That’s a legitimate option, too!).
Bonus: La Galette de la Table Ronde
Fromagiers de la Table Ronde, cow, pasteurized, Québec, Canada
I only tasted this cheese after making this cheese plate, so it didn’t make it into the photo. Instead, M. Cheesemonger snacked on this round and a large chunk of homemade bread when on our canoe trip on the Yukon River. It had been in our pack for 3 hours, and so was warm, suuuuper oozy, and ready for eating! This lightly washed-rind cheese is made of organic milk, and delivers a buttery, creamy aroma and flavor. It’s the kind of cheese I could eat for days on end. I didn’t bring my camera to the canoe trip for fear of getting it wet, so M. Cheesemonger took some video and photo of it with his phone for you! When I grab a hold of his phone next, I’ll be able to upload them for your viewing pleasure.
Because it’s summertime in the Yukon, it never really gets dark at night, so we could enjoy our cheese outdoors a little later than if we were in SF! Woohoo! It was a beautiful day, so our hosts brought out their kid’s “Cars” movie-themed folding table, some chairs and a bench, and we dined under the summer sun. Their little one particularly loves fireweed honey, so he was ALL over the spoon that we had let sink all the way into the honey jar. Secretly, I wanted that spoon.
In any case, I was glad to have this mini Canadian cheese tasting in the Yukon! Do you like to taste local specialties when you travel? What are some of your recent cheesy finds?
To go cheese shopping in Whitehorse, visit Cultured Fine Cheese: 125-1116 Front Street (Horwood’s Mall), Whitehorse, Yukon Territory. 867-689-RIND (7463). Tues-Fri: 11am-5:30pm. Sat: 11am-5pm.
It’s my work to create great content for you. Do you love you see? Let’s work together!
PHOTOGRAPHY! Let me bring your food projects, business, and products to life. Let’s create something beautiful together! See my food photography portfolio. Or see my portrait portfolio for portrait work. Contact me to start brainstorming!
PARTNER! Let’s chat and see if we can make something together! Contact me!
BUY through my affiliate account links at The Cheese Grotto (where you can find a beautiful cheese humidor)
, Amazon.com (where you can get nearly anything under the sun) and the French Farm (where you can find delicious and beautiful French products for the kitchen, and get free shipping for orders over $75). Bookmark these links for later! You can purchase anything through them, not just what I recommend to you, and I will receive a small percentage of those sales at no extra cost to you! Everybody wins!