This firm, organic farm cheese with a pressed and cooked rind is made with pasteurized organic milk drawn directly from the herd of Holstein cows on the Raymond Alary and sons family farm, where the cheese maker is located. The cheese is aged for over six months, which gives it a golden, sometimes copper-coloured rind. The cheese has a smooth texture and no holes. It offers delicate aromas of cream, hazelnut, wildflowers and smoke and is a perfect match for a light red Burgundy or a Pinot Noir.
The cheese maker likes to name its products after medieval-sounding things. The name Le Ménestrel (the minstrel) brings to mind medieval musicians who would try to entertain the court with song and dance, which in turn reminds us of the pleasurable and festive atmosphere that often accompanies the enjoyment of fine cheeses. The name of the cheese maker itself, Les Fromagiers de la Table Ronde, refers to the medieval Knights of the Round Table.
Le Ménestrel is available from the cheese maker and at specialty grocery stores.
Awards and distinctions
CASEUS d'Or winner and Firm Cheese with Washed, Mixed or Natural Rind category winner at the 2015 Sélection CASEUS competition. Finalist at the 2013 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in the Swiss-type Cheese category.