Friday, December 16, 2011

Golden Ears Cheeseworks in Maple Ridge

It's been a while since I've written anything about the culinary goings-on in Ridge-Meadows.  Since my sons are older and have more going on in their lives, my trips across the Pitt River Bridge have become more about catching up with their busy lives and then letting them get back to them.  So when I had an afternoon available this week, and a son available to spend it with, I jumped at the opportunity.

My eldest son has been working at a great little bistro called Big Feast.  The chef/owner, Mike Mulcahy, focusses as much as possible on using local ingredients.  As a result my son has a pretty good knowledge of who is producing what in the area.  So while we were enjoying a sandwich at the Pitt Meadows airport, he mentions a new cheese shop that has opened in Maple Ridge.  Cheese?  Do tell!

Golden Ears Cheeseworks was opened in August of 2011 by Kerry and Lynn Davison.  With the help of their two daughters, cheese-maker Jenna (ex of Farmhouse Cheese in Agassiz) and milk from Kerry's brother Kevin's dairy farm next door they have put together a perfect example of how to do things locally.  The store is right on the Abernathy connector and is filled with a variety of locally produced items.  There's also a nicely laid out demonstration kitchen.  They've already hosted a number of cooking classes with more to come.

As for the cheeses, they're currently offering a Cheddar, a Brie and several varieties of  Gouda ... some flavoured, some not.  There's also cheese curds for those craving poutine, and (what was the biggest surprise of the afternoon) butter!  Apparently Big Feast is using their butter now, and it's no wonder.  This is butter the way it's supposed to taste ... in all it's milk fatty goodness.  There are other products listed on their website, some only available as they're made.  How fresh is that?

I picked up some butter, along with a small wheel of Brie and a wedge of Cheddar.  The cheddar in its current state is more of a farmer's cheese ... creamy and a little but nutty.  You can taste the beginnings of a really nice cheddar bite.  Both the cheeses were excellent, if not a little young.  That's to be expected since Golden Ears hasn't been around long enough to do any proper ageing.  We were told there are proper ageing facilities on site, so it's really just a matter of waiting. But based on my initial taste tests I'm really looking forward to what is yet to come.  If the cheeses from Farmhouse in Agassiz are any indication, Golden Ears will soon be on the cheese-lovers map in BC.

Golden Ears Cheeseworks
22270 128th Avenue
Maple Ridge, BC V4R 2R1


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