I had an really quick errand to run in Belleville today, so today I decided that Maple Dale Cheese was going to be this weeks Cheese factory in the "Great Cheese Factory Tour". I told Elly we were going to a cheese factory today and she was really excited. It was funny because our first cheese factory in the "Great Cheese Factory Tour" was Ivanhoe Cheese. Ivanhoe has a great window where you can watch the cheese makers making cheese. Elly stood there the entire time that we were there. I had to pull her away from that window. Apparently she has good retention for details, because this morning after I told her we were going to a cheese factory she told me "Dey put cheese in a box, then squeeze. Dat's how you get cheese Mommy." I am not sure how many adults know how cheese is made, but my three year old does.
Maple Dale is on highway 37. It has been family owned since 1987. Prior to that it was a co-operative. It's funny, I drive past it all of the time on my way to and from Belleville, and yet I rarely stop there. When I do stop it is to buy produce at the farmer's truck that parks in the parking lot (they have an amazing selection of beautiful vegetables in the summer). The store has changed since the last time that I was in there. I was hesitant to go in I think because the last time I was there the prices seemed really expensive. This time they seemed more in line with other cheese factories cheese prices.
I was shocked, and a little excited to discover not just one different type of cheese curd, but FIVE. The part that I really enjoyed, was there were lots of samples. I would highly recommend the dill curds (I have a thing for dill). Maple Dale has a really wide variety of different cheeses. My personal favourite of theirs is dill and cheddar that they make, I could eat the entire brick by myself...soooo good.
It is very nice and clean. They have cheese on one end and gourmet foods on the other. There was a really nice variety of different foods. They had some really interesting looking preserves. I was sorely tempted by their fudge (I also have a real weakness for fudge. Ask anyone).
|Elly insisted that I take her picture.|
If you look to your bottom right, you will see my very favourite type of cheese, dill cheddar. They also have roasted garlic, and pesto, just to name a few of the many varieties.
If you find yourself on a trip near Belleville or Tweed, then you should stop by Maple Dale. They have some really nice variety in their cheeses, and amazing variety in their curds.
When I have finished my travels in search of cheese factories I plan to share them with you. I plan to report a grade for each local cheese factory on several different aspects of their business, so you might want to keep an eye out to see which is our best cheese factory.