A Tour of Fifth Town Cheese in Prince Edward County

First stop on my Prince Edward County FORD Foodie Road Trip was a visit to Fifth Town Cheese located a 40 minute drive south east of Belleville.

Fifth Town Cheese is a niche producer of fine hand made cheeses using fresh, locally produced goat and sheep milk. The product development processes reflects the spirit of the Fifth Town brand which aims to integrate traditional methods, contemporary tastes, and craftsmanship ethics with local terroir. Situated on 20 acres of agricultural land on the eastern ridge of Prince Edward County, the 4800 square foot Fifth Town dairy processing, retail and educational facility enhances the practice of artisan cheese making with advanced sustainable design. The project achieved Platinum LEED accreditation under the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design program in March 2009. Since opening they have received over 20 awards for their cheese and sustainability initiatives. They truly are making Green Cheese!

After saying hello upon arrival, we did a bit of “oo’ing and ah’ing” while walking about the beautiful display of fromage in their retail store. We were then introduced to one of the cheese makers and dressed to walk through the facility (rubber boots, white jackets, hair nets and masks).

We started at the loading docks where the fresh milk is delivered daily, taken through the pasteurization room and into the area where curds are placed into moulds. We were then told to place masks on our faces as we walked down into a dark and damp cellar where the cheeses age. Jonathan and I could barely breath. Erica and Melanie loved the odour (girls are weird that way). We met a young woman in one of the aging rooms who spent her day scrubbing mold off the rinds of several well aged cheese rounds. What a laborious and smelly task! She told us that she has to shower every day when she gets home from work to remove the moldy cheese smell from her skin and cloths!

After our tour inside the facility we were taken for a walk around the premises of the farm where we learned a great deal about the farms sustainable business practices. Once finished our tour outdoors we marched right back into their retail store for a proper tasting. My all time favourites were their County Maple Bagel Chevre and Lacey Grey.

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