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Manitoba cheesemaker honors centuries-old recipe passed down by Trappist monks

Dustin Peltier, owner of Loaf and Honey, has been making his Golden Prairie cheese since 2018 from a recipe passed on by Manitoba’s Trappist monks who made the cheese in 1905.

Brother Alberic’s recipe has been around for centuries and was passed down to Peltier  “This is a replica of what Brother Alberic had, which is based off of an old branch. So the monks would get a branch and strip all the bark off.” Peltier said.

“Hearing the story and the history of the cheese, and his passion for the cheese sparked something in me to try to keep it alive. Like, it’s been made in Manitoba for 120 years, the recipe dates back to the 1700s.”

Dustin Peltier, owner of Loaf and Honey holding his special cheese. Katherine Dornian Global News

Peltier said making the cheese is a major commitment and with the help of his mother, Silver, he makes between two to four batches per month.

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Additionally, to give the cheese its unique taste he has to wash the wheels every day. Although Brother Alberic had 60 years of experience, Peltier had to create precise instructions for himself.

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“He could just touch the milk or touch the curds and know when they were ready. So it was a lot developing the standards along with him, a lot of following behind him and taking standards and taking tests.” he said.

After making cheese for seven years Peltier says he has started to get creative. He experiments by adding things like raspberry reduction. For his 200th batch this year he has made two wheels with edible gold leaf mixed in.

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National Cheese Day

“I’m super excited about it, they look really cool, I think they’re really going to pop on charcuterie board and on a plate,” he said.

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“There have been four generations of my family having touched and put the same kind of gold leaf on the golden boy that we are using on our cheese. I started with putting gold leaf flakes in the cheese curds so there are pieces of gold throughout the wheel. Then, I layered gold leaf sheets in the middle of the wheel, and I will be brushing more gold leaf on the outside of the wheels as well,” he added.

Brother Alberic passed away two years ago but Peltier carries on his recipe teachings in his way.

“This is all about slowing down and it’s about taking time and being patient. There’s nothing in here that we can rush,” he said.

The special golden cheese will be available for purchase on Wednesday the 21st in limited quantities. Pre-orders are encouraged by email.

— With files from Global’s Katherine Dornian

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