Zacharie Cloutier

Region: Racine, Quebec
Milk: sheep
Texture: firm

Zacharie Cloutier is a raw sheep’s milk cheese ripened from 4 to 6 months. It has a washed rind with a firm pressed paste which is semi-cooked and exhales sweet aromas of coconut, caramel and hay. The butter coloured paste has a mild, soft and creamy texture. Its orange coloured washed rind shows a zigzag design and the presence of small buds. This cheese has the same braided reed patterned rind as Manchego but lacks the wax coating of its Spanish ancestor.

Zacharie Cloutier. produced by Fromagerie Nouvelle France, is the brainchild of experienced cheese consultant and cheesemaker Marie-Chantal Houde. The farm's herd of East Friesian sheep is run by Marie-Chantal's brother, Jean-Paul Houde on the family's 250 hectare spread in Racine, Quebec.

Zacharie Cloutier made its first appearance at Québec’s prestigious cheese competition, Caseus 2011, and struck gold. The sheep’s milk cheese was named best cheese in all milks. No cheese had ever won top honours at Caseus in its first year.

Zacharie Cloutier shares its name with an early settler of New France who happens to be a distant relative of Marie-Chantal Houde (and other Canadian celebrities such as Alanis Morisette, Louis St Laurent, Avril Lavigne, Celine Dion and Shania Twain, seriously).

Pair with a Chablis or another dry white wine – or, break all the rules and go for a Spanish red like Tempranillo.