Bonnechere

Region: Ontario, Canada
Milk: sheep
Texture: semi-firm

Bonnechere is a unique raw ewe milk cheese made by Back Forty Artisan Cheese.  It’s a semi-firm, cooked (not pasteurized), double pressed and unique both inside and out.  A beautiful, chestnut patterned toasted rind covers the interior smooth ivory paste.  

Hand-torching gives Bonnechere smoky aromas and a very distinct caramel flavour.  As it ages, these characteristics amplify the tangy, sweet, and fruity body of the cheese.  Sour milk lingers with a slight amount of acidity. Produced in very small quantities with seasonal milk, it’s a hot commodity.

Produced by Jeff and Jenna Fenwick on their farm in Lanark, Ont., Bonnechere is a semi-firm, pressed cheese made from the summer milk of their own flock of sheep and aged for four months.

Bonnechere's taste is gentle in impact but has a complexity of flavour: It's tangy with a hint of salt and a nice balance of sweetness. Don't expect the impact of a true smoked cheese - any caramel, woody qualities reveal themselves in a welcome, but low-key smoulder. The texture is supple, like a Gouda, resulting in an enjoyable springiness in the mouth.

Its trademark, toasted, toffee-coloured rind is speckled with a bold, dotted texture created from the holes in the draining mats that the cheese rests on. 

Bonnechere is pressed a second time, done after the cheese has already been pressed in order to knit the curd together and expel whey, gives the cheese the unique appearance of a flattened disc.

Bonnechere cheese stands well on its own and doesn’t need crackers or bread to complement it. Fruit would accompany it nicely, as would a Baco Noir, a dark ale or smoked beer.