[Maple Ridge + Pitt Meadows] Located in the heart of Maple Ridge, Big Feast Bistro + Retail is a small town bistro with a trendy, urban atmosphere....
The Wizards of Cheese in the Fraser Valley
Aug 24, 2015
The cheesemakers of the Fraser Valley are not the types to brag and it's part of why we love them! Their focus on food over fame is exactly what makes each award-winning cheese so amazing. Following traditional methods, but with their own little twist, many of these cheesemakers also raise their own cows and goats or are closely linked with the local farmers who do. Focusing on ingredients from the beginning may just be why Fraser Valley cheese is quickly becoming some of the best in the country!
Meet the Wizards of Cheese:
Location: 5634 McCallum Road, Agassiz | Open Daily 10-5
Nestled among the rolling hills of Agassiz (near Harrison Hot Springs), this dairy farm and cheese shop is home to Canada's #1 clothbound cheddar.
The goats will be the first to greet you, nibbling on blackberry bushes with the cows not far away, grazing on grass in the warm sun at this certified organic dairy. The Farm House raises all of their own animal feed and you can meet and interact with the calves and kids born each spring.
The store is open year round with a chance to sample their beautiful variety of goat and cows milk cheeses.
The Farm House Natural Cheeses is one of only two places in Canada to make the handmade clothbound cheddar and they've taken home awards the past two years for it. Proud to be a true farm-to-table family business, the animals are milked and all products processed on site and sold across BC. Fresh whole milk and yogurt are also available and their gouda and brie are a must buy!
Location: 7350 A Barrow Road, Chilliwack | Open Wed - Sat 12-5pm
Happy Days Dairy produces a huge number of delicious goat cheeses from their Chilliwack processing facility. In the store, you can watch cheese being made through the large window into the commercial kitchen and sample their cheese as well as a huge variety of cheese from across the world. Let the knowledgable staff behind the counter pick out samples for you to try and tell you a bit about how each is made or what part of the world it is made.
If you have a dinner party coming up, this is the perfect place to get items for wine pairings. The Happy Days Dairy's goat feta flies off the shelf every week and makes an amazing fondue. The days of eating boring cheese are over!
Location: 5787 Lickman Road, Chilliwack | Open Thurs- Sat 9-5 | smitsandcow.com
Family owned and operated, this adorable store feels like home the second you step inside. You'll likely be greeted by a family member or close friend, all of whom staff this traditional Dutch cheese shop, so grab a cup of coffee and try a few samples.
Gouda is Smits specialty and theirs comes in a wide variety of flavours. The fenugreek is one of the most popular and we can attest, it's delicious! Feta, emmental and goat cheese also make stellar additions to the Smits and Co.w lineup. Cheese platters and gift baskets are available upon request so show up to that next dinner party with a tray that knocks their socks off!
Location: 30854 Olund Road, Abbotsford | Open Mon - Fri 9-5:30
Goat's Pride raises their own goats and produces a variety of goat milk, cheese and yogurt products. Their son, Jason Dykstra, is the artisan cheesemaker behind Mt. Lehman Cheese and produces 9 varieties of specialty goat cheese. Jason honed his craft here at the Goat's Pride Dairy and his appreciation for the goats and natural ingredients is what makes Mt. Lehman's Cheese so delicious! Their aged Blue Capri (blue cheese), feta and the popular 'Frisky' brined goat cheese are must-tries!
Location: 21479 Smith Cres., Langley | Open April - Dec Tues-Fri 1-5:30 Sat 11-5:30
The expansive farmland and beautiful farmhouse set the stage for an adventure at Milner Valley Cheese in Langley. The goats all have personalities of their own and are reason enough to pay a visit, but step inside the store and you'll find many more!
Goats milk gelato is a wonderful treat, made on site and available throughout the summer, but the artisan goat cheese is the main star. The family that runs the farm, shop and on-site processing can help you detect all the subtle nuances that affect the flavour of each cheese. Sampling is a must when you visit Milner Valley Cheese! Read all about the Milner Valley Cheese operation by clicking here.
Location: 22270 128 Avenue | Open 10-6 7 days a week
One visit to Golden Ears Cheesecrafters and you'll be planning your next. This bistro and cheese shop, which opened in Maple Ridge four years ago, also has a variety of locally produced products available in the store, so it's easy to spend longer than you meant to perusing the shelves.
Jenna and Emma Davison grew up on the family dairy farm and take pride in the making of their 42 different varieties of cheese. Settle in for a lunch from the bistro with air conditioning on those hot days and a huge covered patio. On our visit, we tried the artisan grilled cheese on cranberry bread and were glad we did! The bakery and dessert items were too tempting not to indulge in as well and we ended up taking a cone of local ice cream to go.
High Tea is served (by reservation) on Wednesdays for $21.95 and is a great way to try a variety of things from this adorable shop.
There are 5 Circle Farm Tours to explore:
Tours are self-guided with road maps and detailed descriptions provided on the website and downloadable brochures.
We can't wait to see what you get up to!
Here are a few more articles you may enjoy: