It’s no secret we like cheese. It’s buttery, delicate, sharp, salty, tangy, even nutty and one small slice is all we need to satisfy a craving. We like to fondue, enjoy raclette and especially love getting to know the cheesemakers and mongers in Alberta. In this column, we’ve discovered monthly subscriptions and cheesemaking kits to create excitement and anticipation. Plus, we’ve sampled the most delicious freshly made curds and plant-based cheese that we challenge you to try, and we found a fun gift for the turophile in your life.

In this issue (and column) we are all about cheese. Be sure to check out vegan cheese from Glowfood Creamery. A cool gadget to wow your friends with is The Swissmar Girouette Cheese and Chocolate Curler. A cheese box subscription available at Bridgeland Market is a fun treat or try your hand at cheese making with the best cheese making kits from Springbank Cheese Co.

Crystal Springs Cheese

Think of cheese curds and naturally poutine comes to mind. But fried cheese curds date back to the ancient Romans who enjoyed it as globuli, a cheese curd or ricotta cheese, dredged in flour, fried, and rolled in honey – sometimes even topped with poppy seeds. Whether the origins are Italian or French, we love our curds without the whey and have found some made right here in Alberta. Located in Coalhurst, Crystal Springs Cheese is a family-run operation that is home to 100 happy cows, a retail store and a café featuring Dutch food. Jacco Beyer is the cheesemaker who creates award winning artisan cheese in a variety of flavours, like Havarti, Gouda, Cheddar, cow feta and cheese curds available in five varieties. In 2018 they bought Bles-Wold and added Greek yogurt, quark yogurt and sour cream to the line-up. Thursdays are curd-making days and a good day to visit, take a tour and drop by the cafe. Curds can be used in a variety of ways: Chop and add to salad, soup or on top of pizza, batter and deep fry like the Romans or skewer and grill them. We don’t want to sound cheesy, but these curds make us melt. Check website for a complete list of retailers.

Cheese Curds | European Market Deli and Produce, Italian Centre Shop, Safeway, Sobeys, Save-On-Foods | $6.99 |