Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hilary's Cheese (Victoria)

Address: 1034 Fort St.
Phone: TBD
Price: Varies by weight
Notes: Not the widest selection of cheese, but very high quality!

Hilary's Cheese is Victoria's newest addition to the local food scene. They have been operating in the Cowichan Valley for quite a while now, and are spreading out to tantalize the tastebuds of the tip of the Island now.

They have taken over the space where Plenty Epicurean Pantry used to be. The front half of the store is cheese (obviously) but also cheese-related products such as serving platters, crackers and other cheese accompaniments. The back of the store is a food-preparation area. Unlike their Cowichan location there is no deli, although it certainly looks like there might be space for that to happen in the future.

They're facing stiff competition... they're quite close in proximity to the excellent (although not local) cheese selection  at Choux Choux as well as the vast selection at Ottavio in Oak Bay. However, in a city that is increasingly valuing local products they could do quite well. Twitter has certainly been all a flutter about their arrival!

May 17, 2011
The owner was very helpful when I arrived. I was making a salad with roasted beets, and asked for help to decide between the classic chevre and something else. She was very helpful, and her recommendation was totally spot on. The piece that she gave me to taste was pretty small, but I feel like it actually helped me to savour it more than if I'd had a larger piece. As I was leaving, the cheesemaker himself (yes, himself - Hilary is a man). He looks so friendly! I didn't stop to chat, however, it seemed as if they had business to conduct.

May 17, 2011

Blue Benedictine via

This cheese is most fabulous! It was blue without being strong at all, and almost a wee bit sweet. The flavours mingled well with the amazing salad I whipped up with a herb salad mix, oil and balsamic vinegar dressing, roasted beets, walnuts and grape tomatos.

The owner was telling me this cheese is made in Quebec by Benedictine monks from the abbey in St. Benoit Du Lac who produce cheese and blueberry-related products. Their monastery sounded fantastic and is one more reason to made a food pilgrimage to Quebec some day.



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