One of my most anticipated guests was missing at Thanksgiving, though I'd hunted all over Toronto for her. I'm talking about Cinderella, the cheese from St-Raymond de Portneuf, Quebec, voted best in the world recently at the World Cheese Awards 2009. The nice guys at Alex Farm (Danforth and Chester) were confident their supplier would come through by Friday but when I ran in there, breathless, like Cinderella at the appointed hour, she was a no-show.
This was the first time ever that a Canadian cheese has won the award, causing a nationwide run on the belle of the ball. A reasonable price (about $5 for 125 grams) guarantees Cinderella's dance card will be full for a while. The producer--La Maison Alexis de Portneuf--says production is based on demand so will go up, but since it is artisanally made, the vegetable ash-covered, soft surface-ripened goat cheese could be in short supply for a while. As I scribbled my name and every single one of my phone numbers on a scrap of paper for Alex Farm's order book, the counter guy gently informed me that Cinderella's real name is Le Cendrillon.
How embarrassing! South of the border they've anglicized the name, but up here we're supposed to know French. I'll be working on my language skills--and keeping an eye open for Cinderella--in Montreal later this week. I'll let you know if I find her.