Little Miss Muffet
Sat on a tuffet,
Eating her curds and whey;
Along came a spider,
Who sat down beside her
And frightened Miss Muffet away.
Miss Muffet and I have a couple of things in common: we both spend far too much time sitting on our tuffets, and we both love cheese curds (for those who don’t know, curd is just fresh cheese that hasn’t been squished together or aged). Spiders are okay, as long as they’re not right on me – I enjoy watching bugs!
Before we moved to Canada in 1969, the only cheeses I’d ever consumed were of the processed variety: Kraft cheese slices, Velveeta, and those little foil-wrapped wedges of grossness my parents used to serve with crackers when someone visited. Oh, and the powdered cheese that came with Chef Boy-R-Dee pizza mix!
Discovering the cheese factories in Southern Ontario opened up a whole new world for me – fresh curd on Sunday drives was something to look forward to! We’d pass the little plastic bag around the car, popping the squeaky, salty, curly morsels of cheese into our mouths until the bag was gone.
Curd, the object of my desire...
Places we visited in the ’70′s included: Ivanhoe Cheese in Madoc, Black River Cheese Company in South Marysburgh, Empire Cheese in Campbellford, Central Cheese east of Campbellford, Maple Dale Cheese near Plainfield, and Eldorado Cheese Factory in Eldorado. It seems to me there was also one in Tweed, but its name escapes me.
I moved to the Maritimes in 1983. Cheese was not such a big deal here! For many years, I satisfied my curd cravings on trips home to Ontario (although the number of choices got slimmer as many of the old cheese factories closed). In the mid-1990′s, I was delighted to discover Armadale Farms from Sussex at a booth in the Moncton Farmer’s Market. I went and purchased multiple bags of fresh curd on Saturdays. There was also a cheese store/café in downtown Moncton for a couple of years where I could get fresh curd from Quebec, but it closed within a couple of years of opening.
I moved to Saint John in 1997. Curd was even harder to get here! Armadale Farms used to set up at the Kingston Farmer’s Market, but, at the time, I had no wheels to get there. They also had a booth at the Boyce Farmer’s Market in Fredericton, so I stocked up whenever I was in town. I introduced Jim and his kids to curd, and they loved it too! I spoke to some of the local store managers who carried other Armadale Farms products, but none of them was willing to bring in curd. Fast forward to this year…frustrated in my search for a source of fresh curd, I sent an e-mail to Armadale Farms, asking whether they had any local distributors. They gave me a few places (including Jeremiah’s in the Saint John City Market, a place I’d never asked at before!). Since we live in Hammond River, I went to Kuinshoeve Meats in Rothesay, who agreed to make sure I would have five bags of curd (including one for my oldest daughter, who is also hopelessly addicted!) every two weeks when they get their deliveries! I was doing the “happy dance” that day!
Jim returned empty-handed from his ”curd run” this morning…it seems that the Armadale Farms delivery driver is on paternity leave until Wednesday…guess I’ll have to eat the bag that my daughter forgot to pick up last time she was here!