Kitchener Market 2017
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Kitchener Market 2017

Cheese, Sheep

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Available

January 1 - December 31

Harvest Period

N/A - N/A

Ontario has a long history of making cheese. From the nineteenth to early twentieth century, Ontario’s cheddar industry was so successful that the province boasted a cheese plant every 15 kilometers. These days, as demand for locally produced food rises, Ontario’s artisanal cheese community offers a sustainable—and delicious—alternative to the standard rubbery orange brick most of us know all too well. And because there aren’t any quotas on sheepand goat milk production, artisans will often use these milks to create their unique brands of cheese.

                                 

Storage

 

One of the best things about handcrafted cheeses is that they contain the freshest ingredients and no preservatives. But this also means they must be stored properly and consumed sooner than commercial cheese. Be sure to follow instructions on the label or ask your cheese maker how to wrap your cheese and how long you can expect it to stay fresh. Make sure to keep it refrigerated, but always bring to room temperature before serving.

 

Nutritional Information

 

Cheese made from sheep’s milk offers some surprising benefits over traditional cow’s milk cheese. Two cups of sheep’s milk contains as much calcium as is found in three cups of cow’s milk, and sheep’s milk has 75-100% more protein than milk from cows. It also offers a higher concentration of several nutrients, including phosphorus, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and D.  Sheep’s milk causes fewer allergic reactions than goat or cow’s milk. Because it has smaller and more easily digested fat globules, goat’s milk can be better tolerated by people who have trouble digesting cow’s milk. Both sheep and goat’s milk can be given to babies when they are not able to drink breast milk.

 

Impact on the Environment

 

Local cheese produced on a small scale has less impact on the environment than large industrial production. Sheep and goats can produce high-quality milk without the aid of hormones, and, because of their smaller size, require less land for grazing than cows. And, as with any locally produced food, local cheese doesn’t travel as far from the farm to your plate, so less fuel is consumed in the process.

 

Varieties

 

Sheep’s milk can be used to make a wide variety of cheeses, including cheddar, feta, pecorino, ricotta, and toscano cheeses.