A 7300-pound wheel of cheese is a big story! In 1866, 1400 cows contributed 127,006 cups of milk to produce a mammoth wheel of cheese for the purpose of promoting Oxford County, in southwestern Ontario, to the markets of the United States, Great Britain, and France. And it worked. Over 150 years later, Oxford County and Woodstock, Ontario, are now known as the Dairy Capital of Canada.
Community success is all about hard work, pride, passion, family and the ability to have fun.
The annual Cheese Fest held in Woodstock provides an opportunity to meet local cheesemakers, artisans, restauranteurs, brewers, and vintners. You get to sample their wares.
Ellis and Hazel Morris make a variety of sheep milk cheeses at Quality Sheep Milk. We sampled their Manchego, a Spanish cheese. It was much like a mild cheddar, easy to enjoy.
A not-quite-so-mammoth wheel of gouda from prize-winning Mountainoak Cheese.
Armjit Singh, from Local Dairy, demonstrated cooking with exotic cheeses. He recommends paneer, a fresh South Asian cheese that is much like Italian ricotta and Mexican queso fresco, for vegetable dishes, salads, and wraps. He used his spicy Chihuahua cheese to make a grilled cheese with a south-of-the-border kick.
Tanielle Paauw, Deborah Dufton, and The Ingersoll Cheese and Agricultural Musuem provided a lesson in churning butter.
Cold craft beer was on tap with the Upper Thames Brewing Company. Portage India IPA. Backpaddle Blonde Ale. Timber beast Brown Ale.
Cindy Walker from Chocolatea and Habitual Chocolate provided just the right sweetness.
So much to see and sample. At the end of the day, a tee-shirt said it best.
For more cheese adventures we recommend the Cheese Trail, a 21-stop cheese experience. Visit www.OxfordCountyCheeseTrail.ca