Abbey of St-Benoit du Lac
The tradition of Benedictine monks making fantastic cheese is alive and well in Quebec where the monks from the Saint-Benoît Abbey started making blue cheese in 1943. Blue Benedictine is arguably Canada’s most famous blue and has won many awards including the overall Grand Champion at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix in 2000 and in 2006. It was awarded best blue at the Canadian Cheese Grand Prix.
Bleu Bénédictin is a perfect starter blue, not as strong as Roquefort, but still having a pronounced sharp blue flavor with grassy, herbal and mushroom aromas and a balanced sweet and earthy flavor. This semi-soft cheese is deeply veined with the Roquefort penicillium culture and has a whitish-grey coating on the rind. The paste is especially creamy, crumbly and delicious. Bleu Bénédictin is delicious on its own and makes a great complement to a cheese platter served with figs, pears and walnuts. It is also a fantastic cooking cheese. It is wonderful crumbled over soups and salads.
The traditional pairings of port, late-harvest Riesling and ice-wine all match wonderfully to this cheese; medium bodies spicy reds such as Shiraz and Syrah also match well.