Agassiz cheese maker earns industry award

Farm House Natural Cheeses clothbound cheddar a hit with national judges

Debra Amrein-Boyes has earned plenty of awards over the years for the artisan cheeses she’s created at Farm House Natural Cheeses. And most local cheese lovers would drool at the mere thought of a herb and garlic encrusted fromage frais, a smooth goat brie, or a perfectly crumbly feta.

Now the Agassiz cheese maker has done it again, winning two awards at the 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards.

But it was not an overly exotic type of cheese that won the hearts of the judges at the 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards.

Instead, it was something that many people use every day — cheddar cheese.

Amrein-Boyes’ clothbound cheddar won for Best Aged Cheddar category (national), and Best British Columbia Cheese. The awards were conducted by industry professionals, and were the first of what’s expected to be a biennial event. It’s a huge honour, she said, and “confirmation that the way we make cheese and the way we raise milk is good.”

Almost every cheese producer makes a cheddar, meaning Farm House’s offering was competing against a large pool of contenders. But the cheddar they produce is far from what you’ll find in a big box supermarket. Farm House prides itself on creating entirely handmade cheeses, going so far as to raise the goats and cows directly on their own farm.

“Over handling degrades the milk quality,” she said, breaking down the cheese and losing quality (and taste) every step of the way. Instead of leaving the delicate job to machines, Amrein-Boyes and her staff use gentle handling techniques to preserve the quality of the cheese.

And while processed cheeses are aged in vacuum-sealed bags, their cheddar is bandaged with cheesecloth, sealed with lard, and aged for a minimum of 20 months.

It’s that combination of tenderness, skill and knowledge that have earned Amrein-Boyes accolades throughout her 11 years at the helm of Farm House Natural Cheese. But there is something else to the magic of good cheese — the environment.

“People like quality, and the quality of the grass, the earth and the air all come into play,” to create that distinctive Agassiz taste.

Amrein-Boyes attended the 2014 Canadian Cheese Awards in Toronto on April 7, and the accompanying gala that featured cheeses from every corner of the country. After sampling everything from sheep and goat cheese to water buffalo cheese, she still believes Agassiz produces the best cheese in the country.

To learn more about the Canadian Cheese Awards, visit www.cheeseawards.ca. To learn more about Farm House Natural Cheese, visit their shop at 5634 McCallum Road in Agassiz.

news@ahobserver.com

 

 

 

Just Posted

Harrison to replace final incandescent street lights with LEDs

The $186,000 project is the second-phase of a replacement plan for the village

Harrison Hot Springs to consider single-use plastics ban

Village staff will come back to council with a report on what a possible ban could look like

Wonder Pup book series by Chilliwack author teaches kids self-regulation skills

Author Angela Murphy and illustrator Davis Graham release first book Speak Up, Wonder Pup

Agassiz-Rosedale Bridge construction could start in 2021, MLA says

The project is expected to cost substantially more than budgeted in 2017

Fraser Valley developer offering to build barn owl nesting boxes for free

Gore Brothers says anyone with a suitable building can help the threatened raptor

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

MPs hear retired B.C. nurse’s petition to change compensation for fatal medical errors

Teri McGrath wants provinces to implement no-fault system for medical errors

Horgan says he’ll still defend B.C. coast after second Trans Mountain approval

Meanwhile, one B.C. First Nation has announced plans for a legal challenge

Metro Vancouver’s air quality could be the worst yet this wildfire season

As wildfire season approached, Metro Vancouver experts predict the air will be an issue for many

Demonstrators on either side of Trans Mountain debate clash in Vancouver

Crowd heard from member of Indigenous-led coalition that hopes to buy 51% of expansion project

Update: Multiple fires along the railway tracks in Pitt Meadows

CP rail has closed tracks while firefighters work

Grieving B.C. mom hopes Facebook message leads to new investigation into son’s Surrey homicide

Criminal Justice Branch didn’t lay charges, concluding no substantial likelihood of murder or manslaughter conviction

B.C.’s measles vaccination program gains traction in May

More than 15,000 doses of the MMR vaccine has been administered across the province

B.C. farmers concerned Agricultural Land Reserve changes choking their livelihood

Dozens voice concerns at special meeting hosted on Vancouver Island

Most Read