Is it Really Local Cheese?

I read a brief product review in the March 2009 Chatelaine magazine showcasing a soft goat cheese, “…from the award-winning Quebec cheese maker Alexis de Portneuf.” That sounded really good and since Local Delicious is all about locally produced food, I wanted to delve a little deeper.

As it turns out, the artisan cheese maker is actually a facade. A Maclean’s article from April 2008 described it this way:

“Who is Alexis de Portneuf? By some accounts, he is a Quebec artisan cheese-maker who appeared out of nowhere a couple of years ago to sweep top honours at awards shows, secure a place on high-end restaurant cheese plates and at the same time snag prominent displays โ€” at considerable cost โ€” in supermarket counters across the country. In fact, Portneuf is the creation of Saputo, one of Canada’s biggest dairy companies. Think Betty Crocker โ€” he’s a marketer’s fiction…”

The cheese itself may well be made in Quebec, and produced from bona fide raw milk produced by genuine Quebec cows.

But I was still a little disappointed that it isn’t actually made by a micro cheese producer. I felt a little misled, frankly. And am reminded that it pays to check a little deeper into where your food is coming from rather than believe everything you read.

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