The 2011 Dairy Farmers of Canada Gran Prix Champion in the Semi-Soft category; Lankaaster is a washed-curd cheese with a slightly open texture produced in Lancaster, Ontario from the milk of local Brown Swiss cows. This Gouda style cheese is modelled after “boerderij kaas” (traditional farm cheese) from the Netherlands. Washing the curd involves draining the whey off the curds prior to pressing. The curds are then bathed in water and the result is a cheese that has less lactose allowing for a slower fermentation, which in turn reduces the acidity or sharpness in the cheese.
Aged from two to four months, Lankaaster is “grassy and sweet” with notes of caramel, butterscotch, pineapple, and butter that linger on the palate with no bitter or sharp notes to disrupt its rich smooth finish. This cheese is also available in an eight to twelve month Aged version that is firmer with a more nutty flavour, and was the Global Supreme Champion in the 2013 Global Cheese Awards.
Lankaaster pairs well with a smooth Pinot Noir, and the elegant wine matches nicely with the understated cheese.