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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Cedar Valley Cheese Store

Cheese is a staple in our home! Many of the grocery stores here store brand sell cheese in bricks and often but the 900 g bars on sale. While they are named (sharp, cheddar, colby, marble, mozzarella) they basically taste all the same for what little taste they have. A step up in flavour are those bars by Kraft and Cracker Barrel. I seldom buy either of the store brand or brand name cheese because I do find them lacking in flavour. Some stores in our area sell cheese from Pine River Cheese Factory located on Hwy 21, 6 kilometers south of Kincardin, Ontario. We always stop there when in the area. Pine River Cheese has an online store if you can't find it in your area. The cheese is shipped in special coolers packed with ice by ground so they do not deliver to PO boxes. Other cheeses like Emmental, Asiago, Havarti, Swiss, Gouda, Parmesan etc are available as well as specialty cheeses. While these are more expensive than the store brand or brand name they are considerably more flavourful and well worth the extra cost. This means that in some dishes you can reduce the amount of cheese without reducing the flavour of the dish. So spend that little bit extra for good quality cheese.

Cedar Valley Cheese Factory

I had been looking forward to our Wisconsin trip not only to share the milestone wedding but also to stock up on cheeses. I have heard so many good things about Wisconsin cheese so planned ahead by bringing a large cooler. We stayed at the kids from Thursday through early Sunday afternoon and enjoyed cheese each day. Talk about a cheese lover's mecca!

Saturday the kids took us sightseeing. One of our first stops was the Cedar Valley Cheese Store located in Belgium, Wisconsin just outside of Random Lake. Shown in the picture is the back of the massive factory. Midway up in the photo in front of the second white sign there is a road that the factory faces. Not visible in this photo as we are on Side Road 57 is the store which is tucked into the far left corner facing the road in front (Jay RD) of the factory.

Cedar Valley cheese can be ordered by calling them at 920-994-9500. A list of their products can be found on their website. They do not recommend having cheese shipped between May and August but next day service is available. Shipping is by UPS or USPS so they will ship to PO boxes by USPS.

Cedar Valley Cheese Store

Pictured is the store portion facing Jay Rd. of Cedar Valley Cheese, makers of fine Italian cheese. Not shown is the massive factory portion extending to the left of the store. The store in tucked into the far right corner of the factory with ample parking out front. There are plenty of signs so you won't miss it regardless of what road you take.

The store is bright, cheery and spacious yet small in comparison to the factory. There is a entrance before the doors entering the store. There you can find pamphlets for other area attractions as well as store notices. The main attraction here is of course the cheese!

Cheese!

The store portion is not all that large. As you enter the store to your left is a table with various cheese samples. The aroma of smoked cheese greets your senses. Samples that day included string cheese, fresh mozzarella ball, tomato bruschetta and Sesmark Savory thin sesame rice crackers. Lining the wall behind are gift shop items. To your right and running the length of that wall is various foods, jams, jellies, maple syrup, honey and anything else that goes nicely with cheese. A wide aisle separates this wall from the cheese coolers that run the same length. There's cheese, cheese and more cheese! Just before the coolers, closer to the doors is an open cooler with specialty cheese including some for taste testing. Above this cooler are cheesehead (the name for Green Bay Packer's fans) hats.

Our Purchases

I can't help but share the purchases we made. Immediately you will notice the focus was on cheddar cheese. There is a method to our madness! Cheddar is our most used cheese so we go through a lot of it. I want quality cheddar with lots of flavour. Our second most used cheese is mozzarella but really we use a lot of cheese. I have a cheese keeper in my fridge that is the size of a vegetable crisper, a nice selling feature for the fridge. It is usually stuffed with various cheeses spilling out onto the cheese shelf. As you can see a good portion of refrigerator space is dedicated to cheese.

Their cheese strings are award winning so I had to get two packages, one for snacking on there and one to bring home. They come in a plastic bag with a tie or vacuum sealed. There is no difference in quality only in packaging. I should also mention that their cheeses with the exception of cheese strings, curds and shredded cheese are vacuum sealed. Vacuum sealing extends the self life of the cheese. Cheese is one of your more expensive food items so vacuum sealing is a must. When I use cheese, I cut from the block the amount I want to use then immediately vacuum seal the remainder.

  • garlic cheddar (0.89 lb)
  • white cheddar mild (1.24 lb)
  • 2 year aged cheddar (1.13 lb)
  • garden monterey jack (0.84 lb)
  • mozzarella (1.34 lb)
  • mozzarella (1.29 lb)
  • red wax cheddar longhorn (1.15 lb)
  • string cheese (0.76 lb)
  • 1 year sharp cheddar (3.37 lb)
  • white cheddar curd (0.79 lb)
  • two tone cheddar curd (0.87 lb)
  • shredded mozzarella (1.72 lb)
Be sure to check back often to see some of the foods I make using cheese bought on this trip :)


3 food lovers commented:

Carole said...

Wow, very interesting post. I like cheese too, but I am by no means the connoisseur you are. I don't give a lot of thought to the cheese I buy, but next time I go to the store I'm going to look a little closer. Thanks for sharing about your trip. And I don't know what "cheese strings", those sound interesting!

Garden Gnome said...

I'm definitely not a cheese connoisseur but I do love good cheese. String cheese is a formed by stretching and folding the cheese to form a thick rope shape about 6 inches long. Besides eating as is, a rather fun thing for kids because they can be pulled apart in strings, they can be breaded then deep fried or pulled in half then tucked into the edge of pizza dough for an extra cheese treat.

sassy2 said...

I love cheese too! I remember visiting a place similar to this one that actually had chocolate cheese. It was definitely interesting. More of a fudge with a bite. Was good though!