Northeastern Ontario businesses bring home top honours from Royal Agricultural Winter Fair
Northern producers are often big winners at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair, which just wrapped up. And this year was no different — Seguin Sugarbush took home the prize for "Best Amber Grade" maple syrup and Thornloe Cheese captured first place in the "Soft Cheese with Bloomy Rind" category with its cheese "Evanturel."
Thornloe's brand ambassador, Pamela Hamel, says it's a brie-style cheese that has "a beautiful white bloom on the exterior. But when you cut into the Evanturel, you discover two layers with a little black line that is ash."
Hamel says the ash is a centuries-old tradition that hearkens back to a time when farmers scattered ash on top of milk to prevent contamination.
Hamel spoke about the process with Up North CBC host Jonathan Pinto.
At last year's fair, the New Liskeard area company earned top spot in the innovative category for its grass-fed cow milk butter.
On the sweeter side of this year's fair, which was revised into more of a virtual event, Seguin Sugerbush in Lavigne took home the prize for best amber grade syrup.
Dan Seguin says many factors, even the land, go into producing an award-winning syrup.
"It's kind of unique also to the land you actually harvest from," he said. "Like a terroir that they speak of with wine. It's very similar in maple."
Seguin talked more about this during his chat with Morning North CBC host Markus Schwabe.
The Seguin Sugarbush also took home the world cup award from the fair in 2016.