Fromagerie de L’Isle-aux-Grues is launching two new fine cheeses, including a second collaboration with artist Marc Séguin, L’Angélique-à-Marc. Two new fine kinds of cheese are born at the Fromagerie de L’Isle-aux-Grues. Available only in delicatessens and specialized shops, these creamy creations incorporate well-kept secrets of great European cheeses to highlight the culinary identity of L’Isle-aux-Grues.
Tasting a home-made cheese is tasting a terroir. When cheese is made from the milk of cows grazing in the pastures of one same island, we taste the culinary identity of one same territory. This is precisely the mission of the Fromagerie de L’Isle-aux-Grues, particularly with its collection of fine cheeses launched in 2018, to which two new products are added: L’Angélique-à-Marc and Macpherson de L’Isle.
« What we’re trying to do, regardless of the style of cheese, is to work on the creamy character of the cheese, » explains Daniel Leduc, director of the Fromagerie de L’Isle-aux-Grues. « It’s in the way we work the cheese, in our maturing methods and the use of specific ferments. »
Beyond the gustatory nuances associated with the bacterial flora of the milk and, therefore, the territory, the first thing that is easily recognized in the mouth is the particularly unctuous character of these two new creations.
« We always work on our cheeses to get the best possible smoothness so that it melts in the mouth. The creaminess is the pleasure in the mouth. » Daniel Leduc, Director of the L’Isle-aux-Grues Cheese Dairy
In artisanal cheese making, as in beer and wine, the addition of ferments gives the products an aromatic signature, as well as a particular style (firm, semi-firm, soft, etc.).
« Our willingness to work with different ferments positions us as a cheese factory that creates cheeses of distinction, » believes Mr. Leduc. “We don’t want to make a cheese that is a copy of a copy. »
The ultimate goal was to choose ingredients that are not necessarily available on the Canadian market and to choose suppliers that are less industrialized, to be able to go after the taste and flavour profiles we truly want. » Daniel Leduc, Director of the L’Isle-aux-Grues Cheese Dairy
The art of the cheesemaker, the islander Véronique Roy, consists of finding the right balance while mastering every gesture and detail of the manufacturing process to highlight the exclusive character of the milk from L’Isle-aux-Grues. The recipe for Macpherson de L’Isle uses ferments imported from France and Belgium that evoke, both in taste and texture, the original abbey cheeses.
Sir James Macpherson Lemoine, who was lord of L’Isle-aux-Grues, gave his name to the cheese. Mr. Leduc tells me that the man was a humanist and historian at heart and distinguished himself by his search for consensus and cohesion in an environment where French and English Canadians lived side by side. The sometimes fiery relations between these two peoples, which have marked the history of L’Isle-aux-Grues, are highlighted by the use of ash from plant products.
Made from unpasteurized cow’s milk, this semi-firm yellow cheese with a washed rind, ennobled with vegetable ash, is soft to the bite and long in the mouth. At once neutral and noble, its fruity sweetness still stands out on the front of the tongue. If humanism had a taste, it would undoubtedly be this one.
To ensure dairy sustainability, as well as the cheese business in L’Isle-aux-Grues, the company launched a line of high-end cheeses in 2018, including La Bête à Séguin, a Brie de Melun type cheese created in collaboration with artist Marc Séguin.
« We share a common vision of ensuring the sustainability of L’Isle, » says Leduc of this genuine relationship with Mr. Séguin. Marc has been omnipresent in the archipelago for more than twenty years. He is a landowner, he has a creative studio here, and he is a protector of the agricultural terroir. « This sustainability comes through the sustainability of agriculture, therefore through dairy sustainability, » continues the man who proudly renews the association with L’Angélique-à-Marc, a soft cheese that is somewhat runny, strapped with wood, and with both woody and floral notes.
Painter, writer, filmmaker and a great defender of responsible, innovative and ecological agriculture, Marc Séguin, like L’Angélique, is rooted in the territory of L’Isle-aux-Grues.
This cheese is somewhat similar to the Mont d’Or vacherin from the Jura region of France. Once well tempered, it becomes slightly runny and spreads very easily.
The cheese L’Angélique-à-Marc is smooth and melts as soon as it touches the tongue. It is a well-salted cheese with a particularly appealing natural acidity and a crunchy rind. It evokes the lush meadows both by the name as well as the tastes and flavours. What a work of art! “You have to come up with the exact profile the artist is looking for because Mr. Séguin has great taste.”
A portion of the sales of L’Angélique-À-Marc will be donated to the Bourse des arts de L’Isle, created in 2019, to ensure the sustainability of the arts in the L’Isle-aux-Grues archipelago. Another value-added product that makes this company a cheese factory of distinction in Quebec.