Foods You Should Know: Oka Cheese

To keep up with my all things Quebec december I’ve chosen to talk about one of my favourite cheeses that just happens to have originated in Quebec.

Oka Cheese is a surface ripened, semi soft cheese made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cows milk. Coming in four different types Oka is washed periodically with a weak brine solution and aged on Cypress wood slats from between 28 days and three months. Originally, the cheese was only produced by Trappist Monks*, but has since been licensed to a private company, which continues to keep up with the rigorous standards.

Now most of the cheeses I have talked about on Braised Blue*** were more versatile culinary cheeses, Oka is a little bit different. It’s not really a melting cheese, it’s not really a cheese that is going to pair with a ton of foods, but it is amazing on its own or with fruit or wine.

The cheese itself is mild in flavour and ranges in softness depending on its age. It works really well with Pinot Noir and Chardonnay though I would recommend finding a more acidic version of these wines because of the fat content in the cheese.

A cheese platter is a great way to make a crowd at your christmas party happy. This christmas pick up some Oka and try something different.

*Trappist Monks are from a specific order of the Catholic Church called the Cistercians. They follow the Benedictine order which outlines an ascetic lifestyle, very little verbal communication, and a charge to live by the work of their hands. Trappist Beers and Cheeses are world famous.

**Gruyere, Parmigiano Reggiano.

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