Homegrown: Cheeses and Wine from the Annapolis Valley

In the Annapolis Valley, you can practically feel everything growing around you. Rich green forests border mile upon mile of farmland, orchards, tangled fields and lush vineyards. It’s the type of beauty that makes people invest heavily in picnic baskets. It’s understood that if you’ve never visited, you should call your travel agent immediately, but failing that, the right cheese and wine pairing can deliver a delicious little piece of this Canadian paradise.

In a particularly green corner of the valley, next to a herd of grazing Holsteins you’ll find the Fox Hill Cheese House. Using milk from their own herd means Fox Hill’s cheeses are truly unique products of the Annapolis Valley terroir.

Perfect pairings

Another Annapolis Valley original, Grand Pré Wines, has many selections that match the creativity and flavour of Fox Hill’s cheeses. Here are a couple of pairings you’ll love:

Fox Hill offers a selection of intriguingly flavoured Goudas. Grand Pré’s versatile L’Acadie Blanc is a great accompaniment for the bold tones of these cheeses.

The sweetness of Grand Pré’s Pomme D’Or is a great match for Fox Hill’s unique Fenugreek Havarti.

If you’re having trouble finding Fox Hill’s cheeses or Grand Pré’s vintages, feel free to experiment with pairings from your local wineries and cheese makers.

These pairings are just the beginning. This delicious summer recipe really comes to life when you add your favourite Canadian fine cheese.

GOUDA CANAPÉS WITH STRAWBERRY SALSA

•    Course Hors d’oeuvres & appetizers
•    Prep. time 10 min.
•    Cooking time 5 min.
•    Yields 20 to 25 canapés

Preparation

WHAT YOU NEED

Salsa

3 green onions, chopped
1 pint strawberries, washed, hulled and chopped
1/2 tbsp (7 mL) sugar
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 baguette bread, thinly sliced
About 1/2 lb (250 g) Canadian Gouda cheese, sliced or shredded
Small fresh basil leaves

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C).
Combine all salsa ingredients and let stand at room temperature.
Meanwhile, top baguette slices with Gouda and place on a cookie sheet. Bake until bread is crispy and cheese melted.
Remove from oven, top each canapé with a bit of strawberry salsa and garnish with a small leaf of fresh basil.
Serve warm or cold.

For more unique Canadian cheeses, wine pairings and recipe suggestions, go to allyouneedischeese.ca.