Monday, April 26, 2010

Update on Le Cendrillon Cheese

Image via Flickr user Jan Tonnesen

Since publishing my post this morning on Alexis de Portneuf's goat cheese Le Cendrillon, I have since discovered that I've been duped! Many thanks go out to a former colleague of mine who opened my eyes.

I actually thought there was an Alexis de Portneuf -- but as Pamela Cuthbert of MacLean's Magazine points out, there is no Alexis de Portneuf. Much like Juan Valdez, Alexis de Portneuf is a fictional character used to create a personal, artisan-like feeling around the product, in this case, cheese.

However, can it really be called cheese? Is it ok to eat cheese products that claim to be "artisan" but are really made on an industrial scale using modified milk products? Better yet, is it ok to market them as "artisan" if they're not? To the latter, I say no.

Please read the two articles below on this subject and arm yourself with this information next time you're out shopping for cheese. I can't deny that I still enjoyed the taste of Le Cendrillon, but the aftertaste I'm experiencing now definitely isn't pleasant.

Pamela Cuthbert's article: May Contain More than Just Milk

Wendy Holm's article: Canadian cheese should be made from Canadian milk


  1. Calling something 'artisan' that isn't hand crafted is like saying something is home made when you bought it from the bakery section at Loblaws.

    Using that word as a marketing ploy takes away from it's true meaning.

  2. I totally agree! Next time I'll opt for Fifth Town or Back Forty! Anyone who knows of more artisan cheesemakers, let's share this info!

  3. Well, this is surprising...I heard a lot about Le Cendrillon over the last few months but that was never mentioned.

    I agree with Jodi about false artisan.

    Same issue applies, I heard on the radio, about bottles of "Canadian wines". Many of them, labeled as such, actually have an important content of foreign (often Australian and South American) wine.

    I disappointing for sure. I have had good Saputo cheeses before and I don't think that it would have made a difference, for me, to know that it is from the company.

    Know where your food comes from...

  4. I didn't know! That really sucks but I won't give up my Sauvagine :-) There was a really good show about artisan cheesemakers being bought by big companies a while back. I think here I learned that Agropur now owns the Oka cheeses and I think Oka still brands itself an "artisan cheese".

    La fromagerie du Presbytère in Québec is a real artisan cheesemaker. They also won awards, they have organic cheeses, raw milk cheeses and they have a good sense of humor. They wanted to name their latest Brie, le Brie du Monopole, as a pun towards the monopoly of the UPA, but they had pressure, threats, and had to back down on the name. I forget the name of the Brie now, but it is worth encouraging.

  5. Wow, thanks for sharing this. I was actually in the process of writing an article myself about "Canadian" cheese made from imported "modified milk ingredients." I didn't realise that Cendrillon fell into this category. What a shock!

  6. Thanks for the comments everyone, this has definitely been an interesting learning experience! It's hard for me to say that I'll never eat La Sauvagine again, but at least I'll be more conscious when choosing cheeses I eat more often. Interesting about Canadian wines, I'll have to look into that. And thanks, Melodie for the Quebec artisan cheese tip!

  7. Interesting articles. Local brands bought up by multinationals change source of materials. Balderson cheddar is also owned by Parmalat Italy, right. it hasn't been local for years.

  8. I didn't know that about Balderson! Our grocery stores need to start buying more artisan cheese so we have better choices!

  9. Goodness! I have a Balderson cheddar in my fridge and thought it was local. On my way to La Trappe à Fromage for some new cheeses.