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Québec cider and cheese pairings
Québec cider and cheese pairings
Nothing goes better with our cheeses and cheese-based recipes than Québec cider, which comes in five main varieties:
Still cider – Light and strong Most people are familiar with light (1.5% to 7%) and strong (7% to 13%) still ciders. According to the Our cheeses website, low-alcohol ciders go well with mild cheeses like Le Noble, Le Délice des Appalaches and Presqu’île. Cheeses with a more pronounced flavour like Le Fleurmier de Charlevoix, Le Rang des Îles and Le Gré des Champs are also recommended. And of course, strong cider complements strongly flavoured cheeses, such as Le Riopelle de L’Isle, Le Ciel de Charlevoix and Alfred Le Fermier.
Those who enjoy a bit of bubbly will love sparkling cider. Pair these effervescent beverages with such cheeses as 14 arpents, Le Douanier, Le Mamirolle, Le Migneron de Charlevoix or La Réserve la Pérade.
Ice cider is a uniquely Québecois product: our cold winters give apples a higher sugar concentration, and the fermentation of this concentrated juice yields an exceptional and distinctive cider. Definitely try it with cheeses like Le Rassembleu, Bleu Bénédictin, Le d’Iberville and l’Agropur Grand Cheddar Réserve Spéciale.
The latest addition to the family! Fire ciders derive their “heat” from a higher alcohol content—anywhere from 9% to 15%—and the evaporation of apple sugars. This process, which is similar to that used to extract maple sugar from maple sap, gives the cider an amber colour. In addition to being more acidic, fire ciders have a sweet, caramel-like flavour. Blue cheese and cheddar cheese pair perfectly with fire ciders (see suggested cheese pairings for ice cider).
This cider’s colour stems from the varieties of apples used to produce it. Specifically, it derives from red-fleshed apples or from macerating red apple peels. Still, sparkling or ice, rosé ciders are available in every form (see suggested cheese pairings for these categories).
Québec apple mistelle is also worth discovering. Smooth and sweet, it resembles Pineau de Charentes. Mistelle is made from apple juice fortified with fruit brandy or alcohol, and it pairs beautifully with cheeses like Le Bleu d’Elizabeth, Windigo and Miranda.
Many cheese makers and cider mills open their doors to the public, so visitors can learn about how the products are made—and even taste them! Furthermore, special routes guide interested gourmets to these producers: The gourmet routes of Québec and The Montérégie Cider Route give you the opportunity to find out more about the talent and expertise we have here in Québec.
Now all that’s left for you to do is fill your platter with delicious local cheeses and tell your friends and families all about our exceptional cheese makers and cider producers. Every year, the Ministère de l’Agriculture, des Pêcheries et de l’Alimentation du Québec honours Québec’s talented cheese makers during the Sélection Caseus competition, with several award categories. Bon appétit!