The cheesemaker is the link that enhances the terroir, the Canadienne breed and
the labours of local producers. At the food processing stage, the network comes
full circle, ensuring financial spin-offs for each of its members. This is a genuine
partnership! Moreover, Laiterie Charlevoix
reimburses a portion of the plus-value to its producers, and also pays a fee to
rooted and involved in the community for more than sixty years, this family-run
business is also a Cheese
Economuseum®. With the disappearance of local dairy farms as one after the
other they have ceased operations, it became urgent to act or milk would soon need
to be brought in from elsewhere. Laiterie Charlevoix decided to change directions.
It chose the path towards cheeses strongly and intimately tied to their terroir.
The establishment fervently wishes to take up the enormous challenge of developing
the traditional-type Canadienne breed of bygone days
« By proposing production in a niche market, we’re contributing to changing
the model. Your geographic yoke – once perceived as a veritable handicap – becomes
your strength. Here, our type of well delimited terroir enables us to produce milk
that is truly typical to Charlevoix. » Dominique Labbé, master cheesemaker.
Master cheesemaker Dominique Labbé
accompanied by Fabienne Thibeault
at Laiterie-Charlevoix, in Baie-St-Paul.
Photo - Jean-Pierre Debarbat
- CHEESE MADE EXCLUSIVELY FROM CANADIENNE COW’S MILK
two herds newly established in Charlevoix in Summer 2007, a biology conservation specialist already settled in the region and a master cheesemaker, all the elements
had finally come together to make this adventure a success. By Fall 2007, Laiterie
Charlevoix set to work and began the lengthy process of developing a new cheese
made exclusively with milk collected from two Canadienne herds.
True to its origins, Le
1608 finds its inspiration in pure mountain tradition. From the pastures
to the drying room, its cheesemaking process brings to mind operations typical to
France’s Savoie region, with its Beaufort and Abondance cheeses. A cooked cheese,
it is then pressed and ripened for 60 to 90 days. Wheels weigh on average 8 kg. Evoking the early days of the Canadienne breed, which was closely tied in with the
arrival of the French to the New World, it is not surprising to find in this cheese’s
very name a wink to the past, as it underscores the exceptional origins of this
little cow so clearly rooted in our past, and the particular character of the product
it brings to the table -
Laiterie Charlevoix in Baie-Saint-Paul launched this new cheese in Quebec City on
August 7th, 2008 at the official opening of the public market at Les Fêtes de la Nouvelle-France. For the event and as part of Quebec City’s 400th Anniversary Celebrations,
a Canadienne cow set foot where four centuries before, the earliest cattle arrived
in Quebec City. The moment was fraught with meaning as it recalled both the Canadienne
cow’s past, and its future.
Le 1608 is the result of an exceptional collaboration between dairy producers
and Laiterie Charlevoix, under the stewardship of an association that aims to reintroduce
the Canadienne breed in Charlevoix, and by the same token reinstate its letters
patent of nobility.
After 400 years, a Canadienne cow
sets foot on Place Royale in Quebec
City, accompanied by Jacynthe
(Fédération de l’UPA Rive
Nord), Dominique Labbé (Laiterie
(Ferme Hengil) and
Photo – Robert Benoit