Cheesemaker Leslie Sand holds a mini model of the Muttart Conservatory. At least that’s what it resembles. It’s actually cheese — Smoky Valley Goat Cheese’s newest product aptly named the Muttart, which is one of two places you can find it. (Paddy’s Cheese being the other.)
But there’s more to Edmonton’s first cheese than shape. “We adapted a Valencay recipe,” says Sand, who co-founded Smoky Valley with Alex Soreghy in October. “We’re the only one in Alberta to make a Valencay, and now the only one with an Edmonton cheese.”
Traditional Valencay calls for three weeks of aging under a cover of salted charcoal ash, but the Muttart is aged under lavender chives, thyme and rosemary. It’s then finished in a cold room for 10 days, resulting in a creamy texture and acidic flavour.
Its next Alberta-themed cheese will be Roche á Perdrix, named for a Jasper National Park mountain along Highway 16. This pyramid-shaped delicacy, however, is blue cheese.