This semi-firm cheese is aged for 75 to 90 days and made from thermized milk drawn exclusively from a herd of Jersey cows from the Pierre Janecek Farm in Dunham, a few kilometres away from the cheese maker. El Niño comes in two varieties, available from the cheese maker.
Brown rind El Niño
The rind conceals a pale yellow interior dotted by irregular holes. Its soft texture melts in your mouth to reveal dairy notes of butter and fresh milk.
Purple rind El Niño
This cheese is macerated for several weeks in red wine from the L’Orpailleur winery in Dunham, imparting a taste of vine and fresh grape in the mouth.
The cheese maker’s products feature names inspired by different winds. Several make reference to the disruptive El Niño cycle of the late 90s that greatly impacted the environment and human activity. The creation of the El Niño cheese in 2009 was the result of a fortuitous accident. The cheese maker intended to create a cheese similar to a Reblochon or Port-Salut. Satisfied with its originality, Mr. Ouellet instead settled on a recipe that was closer to the taste and texture of a French Saint-Nectaire.
El Niño cheese is available at the cheese maker and at specialty cheese shops and a few grocery stores.