L'Hercule de Charlevoix
From top-quality milk sourced from local herds to the savoir-faire of its artisan cheesemakers, Laiterie Charlevoix are renowned for their finesse. Established in 1948, this fourth-generation family business began as a dairy farm selling its products in the Charlevoix region and on Québec’s North Shore. The seven Labbé brothers, grand-children of the dairy’s founding fathers, now run the business which aside from its traditional Cheddars, also produce and distribute fine cheese Canada-wide.
Produced in 12 kg wheels, l'Hercule is a uniquely Canadian offering that gracefully rivals notable alpine-style cheeses such as Gruyère and Comté. Named for Jean-Baptiste Grenon, a French soldier and hero during the Seven Years’ War, whose strength was so legendary they called him the Hercules of the North.
L'Hercule gets it start less than a kilometre from the Charlevoix dairy where thirty Jersey cows, chosen specifically for the high protein and fat content of their milk, graze on local grasses. The raw cheese is then cooked, pressed and brine-washed for up to twelve months, encouraging a natural rind and resulting in a dark yellow paste that becomes richly flavoured with age.
When young, l'Hercule is milder with a fruity aroma and tangy, sweet finish. By twelve months, the flavours grow more complex, informed by the earthiness of the rind into a much more nutty and mellow mouthful.
Enjoy on your favourite roasted vegetables, quiches or soups for a truly Canadian homage to mountain-style cheesemaking.