So I have this friend whom I’m going to call Sally (mainly because that is her actual name). Sally is quite possibly the best cook/chef/baker in the Universe. One time when I was spending the weekend with her, I phoned home to gush to Mike about all the delicious food I was eating. Mike sighed, on the other end of the line, and said gloomily “Yeah, yeah, yeah, tell me when she makes something that’s not the best thing anyone has ever tasted – that would be news.”
Which brings me around to this week’s feature: Fox Hill Cheese House. I was a little nervous about profiling them this time because I’ve been a fan ever since we moved back to Nova Scotia in 2006 and I was afraid I would have nothing new to try and nothing new to say.
When we moved home (for me) and here (for Mike) one of his greatest joys was discovering that Fox Hill produced curd cheese (which our children have re-named as “squeaky cheese” (try some, if you haven’t, and you’ll understand)). I think fresh, widely available curd cheese was one of the few things Mike missed from Montreal, so finding a local source pretty much solidified his commitment to never. ever. ever moving from the Annapolis Valley so help him. If someone could start up a truly Montreal-style bagel bakery I might never be able to get him to visit his parents again. But I digress.
With my ever-so-biased background in mind, I decided to attempt to approach the Fox Hill booth with fresh eyes (er, mouth). After much drooling and dithering (a potentially messy combination) I settled on some dill and chives havarti, curry quark, and Crostata gelato.
Now. Events have transpired since my last post and I must confess I’m both pleased and unsettled. You see, I’ve acquired a new reader who is keenly interested in the content of these bits. Solomon, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I may have had some delicious gelato in the house that I may have declined to share with anyone. Those tubs are so little and, well, so scrumptious. You may not want to read ahead….
Crostata is not a flavour I would have chosen of my own volition. That is due to the simple fact that I would have had no clue how to pronounce it. It was described as “like pound cake.” Yes, it is, but kind of in the way that a tricycle is like a Harley Davidson. It’s buttery and melty and almost embarrassingly rich. It is best served in wee portions, in solitude, and after the kids are safely tucked away in bed. You may also want to tuck it into the back corner of your freezer. You’re welcome.
My next flavour endeavour was the dill and chives havarti. This cheese is a very popular choice, I was told. I loved it, but just like Sally’s cooking, that’s not really news. I love all Fox Hill cheeses, but I have to say that of all their mouth-watering choices, I remain a committed fan of the Fenugreek Havarti. Fenugreek makes the cheese have a maple-y flavour and it makes the person eating the cheese have a complete lack of self-restraint. I can’t keep it in the house (either literally or figuratively).
Finally, the curry quark. This made me really nervous. Quark? Isn’t that an elementary particle and a fundamental constituent of matter (thanks, Wikipedia)? Just kidding – I’ve had quark before, but it seemed so odd to combine it with curry. So I put off tasting it until tonight whilst typing this missive. My high school Home Economics teacher would have been appalled at the lack of colour contrast between the yellow quark and the yellow carrots I dipped into it…but she would have heartily applauded the flavour explosion. I think the carrots were good, but really they were basically just overladen spoons. I recommend you buy a tub of this yumminess and transfer it into your own dish. Surround it with carrots, or whatever. Then, bring it to the next potluck you attend. Everyone will want your recipe. Grab a pen and paper and write down: Fox Hill Cheese House Curry Quark. Then, wink knowingly. Trust me, they’ll thank you.
Fox Hill Cheese House can be found at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market, in their natural setting at 1678 Church St, Port Williams and at the Halifax Seaport Market. You can virtually visit at http://www.foxhillcheesehouse.com/ or on Facebook and Twitter. And if you pop in to their home base on a Thursday afternoon you can help yourself to a bag or 4 of fresh, warm, delightfully squeaky curd cheese. Save some for me, please.