Friday, June 9, 2017

Black Cow Cheddar

Black Cow Cheddar is one of the newest products to hit the Dussa’s Ham & Cheese fridge, and boy are we excited! This cheddar has an incredible story. Made by the same grass fed cows that make the renowned Barber’s 1833 Cheddar- the oldest surviving cheddar makers in the world! What makes Black Cow cheddar so special is not the milk, however, but the whey. Inspired by milk based spirits produced in cold climate regions where high fructose plants are not available, Jason Barber and business partner Paul Archard decided to try to make a pure milk vodka using the cows on the Barber farm. The result is the now famous Black Cow Vodka. The milk is separated into curds and whey- the whey is processed to make vodka, the curds pressed into cheddar!

Black Cow Cheddar comes in cute little 200g black wax truckles. The wax is key, as it helps the cheddar maintain its distinct creaminess. The result is a mouthwatering cheddar that is silky smooth, with the odd tyrosine crystal that adds a to the cheeses delightful texture. The cheddar itself tastes sharp, but lacks the bitterness that many aged cheddars tend to have. Its finish is slightly peaty, as though you’ve just sipped on a fine bourbon. Paired with a dry rosé, and Black Cow Cheddar has a hidden sweetness to it, as though a drop of honey has been added.

Black Cow Cheddar makes and amazing gift and travels well. Perfect for you next summer picnic!

Friday, June 2, 2017

Fromager D'affinois

A few years back, a customer came to our shop wondering if we carried a cheese that she had tried at a gathering some days before. “I’m not sure of the name,” she said, “It looked like a Brie, but it tasted like the baby Jesus sliding down your throat in velvet pants.” I knew right away what she cheese she was looking for- D’affinois.

D’affinois is a gorgeous bloomy rind soft ripened cheese made by the Fromageris Guilloteau Company in the Rhône-Alpes region of France. It is rich and mild with a subtle smell that, although not offensive to even the most timid of eaters, lets you know that you are about to delve into something amazing. Yet above all, it is D’affinois’ luxurious velvety texture that has made this cheese so famous. The reason for that amazing texture is a process called ultrafiltration. 

Ultrafiltration is when the milk is continuously pressed through a porous membrane in such a whey (har har) that all the large molecules in the milk, such as the fats and proteins, are left behind while the water is drained away. Before the cheese making has even begun, all the whey has been removed.  Because of this, D’affinois only needs to be aged for about two weeks, unlike Brie and Camambert which need to be aged for at least four weeks. As a result, D’affinois lacks the earthy mushroom flavor of a traditional Brie or Camembert, and instead boasts a unique buttery freshness.

Another great thing about D’affinois is that it comes in many forms.  At Dussa’s we carry no less than six different flavors and styles throughout the year. We regularly stock the traditional D’affinois, made of cow’s milk and always a hit a party. 

We’ve also begun to regularly stock Bleu D’affinois, which is as rich and creamy as the traditional, but with few veins of blue that give this normally mild cheese a little kick. 

Every so often we bring in Champagnier, a wash-rind version of the traditional D’affinois. As D’affinois is aged, it is gently washed with a salt water brine that shakes up the tasty bacteria to create a slightly smelly cheese with a bold orange rind. Champagnier is just a touch stronger than traditional D’affinois, and is a staff favourite.  

New to Dussa’s is Florette and Brebicet, goat and sheeps milk versions of D’affinois so that our lactose intolerant customers can also indulge in this incredible cheese.

And finally, there is Secrete D’affinois, or how we at Dussa’s like to call, a little wheel of D’affinois for one!

D’affinois is definitely one of the hottest items sold here at Dussa’s Ham & Cheese. It is a guaranteed crowd pleaser that pairs well with charcuterie, nuts, and many different types of fruits.Yet it is just a fabulous all on its own!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Moliterno Al Tartufo

Moliterno al Tartufo is Dussa’s new favourite Truffle Pecorino. This beautiful cheese from Sardinia is tiger striped thick black slashes of Italian black truffle paste. Unlike other truffle cheeses, truffles are piped into Moliterno after it is slightly aged. This gives for a more subtle truffle taste that doesn’t mask the salty sweet flavour of the amazing raw sheep’s milk cheese. Yet the earthy truffles can still be tasted in every bite. Throughout the aging process, olive oil and vinegar is rubbed on the rind, adding to a very light fermented tang near the edges. Moliterno al Tartufo can easily stand on its own, paired with a crusty loaf and a hearty beer or bold red wine. You can also drizzle a bit of honey on it and eat it with fruits, or toss in a few shavings on your pizza or pasta.

Friday, May 5, 2017


Tomino is an adorable little cow’s milk cheese from the Piedmont region of Italy. It looks and feels like a young brie or camembert, but that is as far as similarities go-Tomino is a cheese of its own! It has the most interesting smell, almost like cabbage or sauerkraut even. Although it would be perfectly alright to dive into a little piece of uncooked Tomino, it is actually best warm and is meant to be grilled. Once melted, Tomino has a nutty, forest flavor with a slight bitter finish, much like L’edel de Cleron or Vacherin Mont D’or. Tomino is meant for light meals and pairs well with dark leafy greens, roasted eggplant, and various nuts. Sometimes honey is drizzled on top to turn this little gem into a dessert.

Want to prepare Tomino at home?  On a hot skillet add a splash of olive oil. Grill each side of the Tomino for about a minute or until the cheese feels soft but not falling apart.

It is also very common to wrap Tomino in Pancetta or Speck before grilling it. Michelle at Dussa’s recommends their European bacon. Wrap the Tomino in about 6-8 extra thin slices of European bacon. Fry the cheese until the bacon is golden and crisp. Serve with a leafy green salad, crusty bread, and your favourite dry white or Prosecco.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What is the difference between Brie and Camembert?

We get this question a lot at Dussa’s Ham and Cheese.  And what is our answer?

About a two hour drive!

Seriously, there is not that much of a difference between these two delicious French cheeses.  Brie, having a history that dates back to the 8th century, is traditionally made just south of Paris, where the cattle graze on stony river beds.  Camembert is a relatively new cheese however, dating to about the 1800’s.  Its traditional home is Normandy, where cattle graze on lush green pastures. Both cheeses in their authentic form are made from unpasteurized milk, and are manufactured in pretty much the same way. The only difference is the bacteria used in each cheese:  Penicillium Camemberti is used in Camembert, where as Brevibactirium is used in Brie.  The difference in flavours between the two cheeses, aside from the slight variation in the milk due to the different diets of the dairy cows used, is down to the difference sizes of the cheeses.  Brie is usually made into a large flat wheel, weighing up to 3 kilograms.  Camembert, on the other hand, is made into small high cylinders, usually not weighing more than 250-300 grams, although it can be found to weigh up to 1 kilo.  Because of Camembert’s shape and size, it tends to age faster and lose more moisture, therefore rendering a stronger cheese with a thicker paté. Traditionally made Brie is said to have a smoother, creamier flavour, compared to Camembert, which tends to have a nuttier, sweeter taste.

All that said, these comparisons can only apply to AOC designated Brie and Camembert.  Most Brie and Camembert found in North America are not AOC designated, and usually factory produced. They are made of pasteurized milk for the most part, and aged to please the North American palate. Often times, no difference can be found in flavour or appearance between a non AOC designated Brie and a non AOC designated Camembert.  There are only two AOC designated Bries- Brie du Meaux and Brie de Melun (which is not exported). As for Camembert, only raw milk Camembert produced in Normandy can have the AOC designation.  Always look for the AOC stamp on the label if you are looking for traditional Brie and Camembert.

When trying to find the perfect Brie or Camembert, go by sight, touch, and smell.  The rind should not be pristine white, as that indicates the cheese is too fresh. It should, however, have a downy rind and even sometimes have little red dots.  The paté should be a nice straw colour.  The cheese itself should not have a runny interior, but should “bulge” or flow minimally.  If you squeeze the fleshy area very gently between your index finger and thumb, the cheese should yield to the touch like bread dough.  Non-traditionally produced Brie and Camembert are the opposite: you may want to look for a bright pristine white rind and gooey white paté.  No matter what style of Brie or Camembert you have, you never want the rind to break away from the paté, nor do you want the cheese to smell of ammonia- both are indications that the cheese is over-ripe.

Both Brie and Camembert are amazing cheeses.  Whether you go for the stronger unpasteurized versions or the milder, creamier North American styles, you are always going to end up with a fantastic cheese that pleases most everyone whom you are entertaining.

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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Spring Forward with Swiss Cheese

When ever one thinks of Swiss Cheese, usually a holey Emmental comes to mind.  Or melted fondue parties in front of the fire.  Or warm Swiss Raclette after a long days skiing.  As soon as the weather starts to warm up, authentic Swiss cheese tends to fall out of everyone's mind.

Dussa's wants to change that.  Dussa's wants to remind Canadians that authentic Swiss cheese is not just for winter.  Try grating Appenzellar over a leafy green salad, or thinly sliced next to fresh summer fruits.  Little petals of Tete Du Moine are divine with a dab of jam and toast.  And there is nothing in the world like a thick slice of Swiss Raclette on a juicy burger.

Come to Dussa's Ham and Cheese this Easter Weekend and re-introduce yourself to authentic Swiss cheese.  All cheese imported from Switzerland as well as DarVida crackers are %10 for the entire weekend. 

Also, if you purchase a piece of authentic Swiss cheese, you are eligible to enter to win a Girolle, a fondue set, or a Swiss Raclette Grill.

So come visit us at Dussa's Ham and Cheese, and spring forward with Swiss cheese!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Sensuously Delicious

Cheese is one of the most sensual foods on Earth.  Eating a good cheese is an experience.  One must take time to fully appreciate how it looks, how it smells, its taste, and the way its texture unfolds on the tongue.  It is no wonder, then, that many claim cheese to be an aphrodisiac.  In fact, some experts say that “cheese contains ten times as much phenylethylamine as chocolate” ( Oh my!

If you are planning a romantic meal this weekend, be sure to have some cheese.  Let the staff at Dussa’s help you pick out something sensuously delicious.  Take advantage of our winter specials (like a French brie, or a raw milk triple cream from Quebec), or be adventurous and try something new and different.

For a more family oriented Valentine’s celebration, try making pizza with our all natural pizza shells, or pop some of our famous cheese puffs in the oven.  Both are guaranteed to warm bellies and hearts.

So whether you’re are planning a romantic meal for two, a night in with the family, or even a quiet night on your own, consider adding a little cheese.  Nothing says “I love you” like a beautiful piece of cheese.