Say cheese!

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I wasn’t always a cheese person. I wasn’t one of those people that could sit down with a block of cheese and just snack away. Then, one day, something happened: I was introduced to real cheese. Cheese that wasn’t orange or floppy and without distinct taste. On that, I became a cheese person. Yes, I admit it now: I really like cheese. Real cheese with real flavour is great. I like to try different types of cheeses and eat it by itself or in a recipe.

On Monday night, I treated myself to a night of cheese. I went to Cheesemaking 101: an evening class offered through the Culinary Adventure Co.

The class was held at Cheesewerks on Bathurst, just south of King St W and the evening started at 6:30pm. It was a decently small class with just 5 of us and our teacher, Kevin, one of the owners of the Culinary Adventure Co.

We began our evening with a delicious dinner of butter chicken mac & cheese and a beverage. The meal was so good. It was two things I love combined in one delicious pan. My beverage of choice was a KW craft cider and, never having heard of that cider house, it was tasty! It was a nice dry cider and not too fizzy.

After a brief introduction to the world and history of cheesemaking in Canada, we got down to the serious cheese business. Under Kevin’s instruction we made two cheeses: ricotta and paneer. I’ve had ricotta before, but never paneer. I’ve seen a ton of recipes using paneer, but hadn’t gotten around to actually picking up a package and giving it a try. No more! Now, in my fridge is a decent slab of paneer made by yours truly.

In addition to the two cheeses, we also prepared a fig, balsamic and black pepper jam. Once prepared, we taste tested the ricotta on lovely crostini topped with the jam. Delicious!

It was a great experience! My mom came with me to the class and we both so enjoyed the experience that we’ve already booked another class with the Culinary Adventure Co. On Mother’s Day, we’ll be doing their “Cheese & Cheers” class, pairing cheese and beverages. I would recommend this experience to the amateur and professional cook alike. The value for money was unbelievable. We walked out of the restaurant with our cheeses, jam, crostini, leftover dinner, a new apron and cheese related magazines. Total winner!

Expect some cheese-related recipes to follow in the next couple of days. I’m hooked!


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