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Vancouver Cheese Shops (Merged)


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The best kind of cheese shop, regardless of selection, is one where they will cut a chunk off the larger cheese for you. Pre-cut pieces of cheese will start to to go bad, developing off-flavours from contact with the air and plastic wrap. Light also damages cheese, and in pre-cut pieces there is a lot of exposed area.

If you're buying pre-cut chunks, make sure that it was cut within the last couple of days. Only buy cheeses where the 'packed on' date is week indicated. I've been at some of our best gourmet shops and the pre-cuts are weeks old. I've been told that Urban Fare will cut you a fresh chunk as well.

Les Amis du Fromage has a huge selection and most of their cheese is cut for you, off the larger original chunk. Their knowledge is encyclopaedic as well. Worth the trip. Haven't seen a better cheese shop in Van.

Was just there yesterday and bought some Kracher Trokenbeerenauslese wine jelly which we scooped onto bread with cheeses and Oyama pates and head cheeses. 10 bucks for a tiny jar but the intense sweetness and flavours brought out the best in the cheese and pates. Gonna go get some more soon.

Edited by Bubbalicious (log)

Bob McLeod

VOX BACCULUS HIC VADIS IN VITRIO JUBILIAM

The road goes on forever and the party never ends

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  • 2 months later...

I was down at Whole Foods checking on the availability of Mont D'Or Vacherin was told that nobody would be carrying it this year as the Canadian food inspection agency has rejected shipments due to high bacteria counts.

Is this true? Did someone shoot Santa and not tell me? I look forward to Vacherin as a seasonal treat. So it would be a serious bummer if it was not available this year.

Whole Foods would not be lying to me - would they? (I am suspicious because they told me that if someone was selling it - it would be last year's stock - which must be bullshit.)

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I was down at Whole Foods checking on the availability of Mont D'Or Vacherin was told that nobody would be carrying it this year as the Canadian food inspection agency has rejected shipments due to high bacteria counts. 

Is this true?  Did someone shoot Santa and not tell me?  I look forward to Vacherin as a seasonal treat.  So it would be a serious bummer if it was not available this year.

Whole Foods would not be lying to me - would they? (I am suspicious because they told me that if someone was selling it - it would be last year's stock - which must be bullshit.)

Well the les amis website says their Swiss Vacherin is arriving between December 5 and 10. I doubt very much that it is last year's stock.

Cheers,

Anne

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Was at les amis last wed and they are expecting the Vacherin Mont' d Or this past Saturday (3rd of Dec)

DANIELLE

"One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well."

-Virginia Woolf

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OK - I'll admit it - I am a Vacherin Virgin.....but hopefully not for long. I just put my name down at Les Ami...hopefully I'll hear back shortly.

Is anybody willing to give me a description of the cheese? Is it just smelly, or horribly smelly? Is it so runny it is best eaten with a spoon? What kind of wine would best suit it?

I bought a cheese with an orange rind from Urban Fare - it was called something like "Chaumes". Smelled like, gosh, I don't know if there is a description for something so horrible. Tasted like heaven. Most of my guests refused to try it, fearing it might taste like it smelled. Their loss.....I thought it was delicious.

Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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OK - I'll admit it - I am a Vacherin Virgin.....but hopefully not for long.  I just put my name down at Les Ami...hopefully I'll hear back shortly.

I bought a cheese with an orange rind from Urban Fare - it was called something like "Chaumes".  Smelled like, gosh, I don't know if there is a description for something so horrible.  Tasted like heaven.  Most of my guests refused to try it, fearing it might taste like it smelled.  Their loss.....I thought it was delicious.

I just called Les Ami and they confirm that they have French Vacherin in stock already and will have Swiss later on. So I don't know what Whole Food's was talking about when they said no-one was getting any Vacherin this year - I don't want to even hazard a guess.

Anyways Vacherin has a strong odor - but I don't think it horrible (but it will be stronger than the Chaumes). It is unpasteurized so there is a distinct tang to it. It is soft and creamy and oozes out the rind when really ripe.

If you are introducing guests to it - you may want to warm it through in the oven with slivers of garlic. When the people at Les Amis told me to do this last year - I thought 'sacrilege!' - but it was delicous (and felt a little decadent). It was like a mini fondue to dip bread and cured meats into. Obviously the holidays are no place for vegetables.

Santa Clause is NOT dead afterall.

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Is there much difference between the Swiss and French? Do you have a preference?

And I agree with what you said about veggies at holiday time, Lee. You are a very wise man, indeed. January is ALL about the veggies.

Anybody who believes that the way to a man's heart is through his stomach flunked geography.

~ Robert Byrne

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  • 2 weeks later...

As an update on the availability of Swiss Vacherin at Les Amis du Fromage, here's a quote taken from the December 14 edition of Dine & Dash:

Attention Vacherin addicts…an email from Joe Chaput of Les Amis du Fromage

Swiss Vacherin is scheduled to arrive this week, hopefully Wednesday or Thursday (Dec 14-15). Two sizes are expected...300 gr & 500 gr. Prices are TBA. We will send an email when it does arrive, and any customers that left their phone numbers will also be called.

Also of note:

Take advantage of our extended holiday shopping hours which will take effect on Thursday December 15th until Xmas eve. Visit www.buycheeese.com for details.

Visit www.gismondionwine.com for Allison's new installment of "The Cheese Course". This latest article features cheese that pair with Port.

Allison Spurrell has been invited to judge at the 2006 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in Montreal this February. This event is brought to us by the Canadian Dairy Farmers of Canada with the aim of supporting cheese manufacturers in their search for excellence and in the development of new products. More details upcoming.

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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On the location of cheese shops . . .

The Holland Store in New Westminster sells a variety of (you guessed it) Dutch cheese (Gouda, etc). They cut it themselves from the infamous big wheels. Their cold cuts aren't bad either.

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  • 3 months later...

this just in:

Dear Friends,

We Are Expanding

Les amis du FROMAGE, western Canada's favourite cheese store will soon be opening a second retail store at #518 - Park Royal South in West Vancouver. You will find all of your favourite cheeses, olive oils, crackers, foie gras, truffles, frozen meals and other specialty food items at our new location on the North Shore. Owners Alice and Allison Spurrell say "You can expect us to stock our usual great selection of cheeses with the same quality service and exceptional pricing. We look forward to serving our customers on the North Shore".

Opening May 2006

Alistair Durie

Elysian Coffee

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  • 2 weeks later...

The news that L'ami is opening in my neck of the woods (West Van) is too good. They're taking over the space previously called The Cheese Shoppe. I was actually in there a few weeks ago when the owner was selling off the last of his stock. I got some nice Brie at half price. I hope L'ami prospers. Can't wait....

Paul B

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  • 3 weeks later...

Update from my last message. L'ami has opened in West Van (Park Royal south). I was in there a couple of days ago. They don't have as much stock as the original store (yet) but there were some very nice cheeses and I was able to buy epoisse by the slice instead of the whole cheese. Had a nice chat with the woman behind the counter. I don't know if they have plans to install the coolers that they have in the original store so they can stock more specialty items, but I hope so.

Anyway, hope they make a go of it.

Paul B

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  • 2 months later...

So I visited Forester's on 41st for the first time in ages a few days ago. Two ladies are now running the shop, and have been for the last 3 weeks or so. They were really friendly and cut huge samples (like...5x the size of a regular sample) of many cheeses for me to try. Really, really generous. They even asked if I was in a hurry, and when I said no, told me they'd like the cheese to come to room temp for a few minutes before I taste them. They told me they're getting a new shipment of cheeses in tomorrow morning (Wednesday) and they both seem really enthusiastic about their cheeses.

One thing that I really liked was that their cheeses are vacuum-packed with a bit of air left in the package to let the cheese breathe, and they also vacuum-pack the cheese you buy the same way.

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  • 3 months later...
Heads up all:  it's Vacherin Mont d'Or season at Les Amis du Fromage.  Get it while it's runny!  (Courtesy of today's CityFood)

Hmmm, City Food says they have it in stock but the e-mail I got yesterday from les amis says they are taking orders for expected delivery around December 5th:

The vacherins we are expecting this year will come in two sizes: 300 gr or 500 gr. Prices are not final but are expected to be $18.95/300 gr and $27.95/500 gr.

Send us an email to guarantee your cheese for the holiday season. Supplies are limited. No deposit is required. We are expecting our first order sometime after December 5th.

Cheers,

Anne

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Heads up all:  it's Vacherin Mont d'Or season at Les Amis du Fromage.  Get it while it's runny!  (Courtesy of today's CityFood)

Hmmm, City Food says they have it in stock but the e-mail I got yesterday from les amis says they are taking orders for expected delivery around December 5th:

The vacherins we are expecting this year will come in two sizes: 300 gr or 500 gr. Prices are not final but are expected to be $18.95/300 gr and $27.95/500 gr.

Send us an email to guarantee your cheese for the holiday season. Supplies are limited. No deposit is required. We are expecting our first order sometime after December 5th.

Rhonda corrected on the website - you must order now for delivery later.

Gastronomista

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  • 3 months later...
I bought a cheese with an orange rind from Urban Fare - it was called something like "Chaumes".  Smelled like, gosh, I don't know if there is a description for something so horrible.  Tasted like heaven.  Most of my guests refused to try it, fearing it might taste like it smelled.  Their loss.....I thought it was delicious.

Old thread, old cheese.......

I recently discovered Chaumes at my local Whole Foods. It's actually rather mild in both aroma & taste. Was googling eG to see what others had to say about it. Sounds like the piece above was, err, very well aged.

Thank God for tea! What would the world do without tea? How did it exist? I am glad I was not born before tea!

- Sydney Smith, English clergyman & essayist, 1771-1845

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Old thread, old cheese.......

I recently discovered Chaumes...  It's actually rather mild in both aroma & taste.  Was googling eG to see what others had to say about it.  Sounds like the piece above was, err, very well aged.

Chaumes is a washed rind cheese from Aquitane (Dordogne), not far from the Pyrenees in the South-West corner of France. Like some other cheeses, it is boring when young, but can be unpleasant when overripe. If you find the taste mild, make sure to eat some of the rind along with the inside pate. The manufacture also produces another similiar cheese called Chaumes Cremier. similiar in taste, but much more creamy in texture. The washed rind is only on the top, and it is almost runny enough to serve with a spoon.

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  • 7 months later...
Any suggestions for a source for fresh buffalo mozzarella? Just came back from Italy, had a really nice antipasto of prosciutto and buffalo mozz, was hoping to reacquaint myself.

Les Amis du Fromage (they even have fresh Buffalo Mozz from Vancouver Island).

Both of the Italian delis on Granville Island

La Grotto di Formaggio on Commercial

Check the dates on the containers as they are never as fresh as you would find in Italy, (after coming through Toronto).

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