Community local products

Fromagerie Bothwell – Provencher Avenue

Fromagerie Bothwell is the new Winnipeg location for Bothwell Cheese. Bothwell Cheese has long been a Manitoba institution. A family run business that has been in operation since 1936, Bothwell Cheese produces a wide range of cheese products, and are specially know for their Squeakers, cheese curds available by the bag(and a great choice for making poutine).

Fromagerie Bothwell mild
The mild version of Bothwell Cheddar.
Schwartz's Diner in Montreal
Schwartz's Diner in Montreal

For years, Bothwell Cheese has been available in various supermarkets, and specialty shops. Although usually with a limited range of their varieties. A few months ago, they decided to open a stand-alone store in Winnipeg. Located on Provencher, just as you cross over the Provencher bridge into St. Boniface, the store offers a complete range of their cheeses, along with a variety of other local, national, and international products.
It’s the second cheese shop to open in Winnipeg in the last year and a bit. I’ve enjoyed visiting Cheesemonger’s Fromagerie on Corydon, and after my first few visits to Fromagerie Bothwell, I know I’m going to enjoy repeat visits there as well.

Fromagerie Bothwell butter
Fromagerie Bothwell carries Notre Dame butter, my favourite. At $4.99 for the pound, the unsalted is also the best buy I’ve found.

Walking in, you see the service counter to your right, along with a case containing a selection of baked goods from St. Pierre Bakery, and fudge produced in Beausejour. On the far wall are the coolers containing all the cheeses, and on the wall nearest the street, are the coolers, and freezers containing meats and other fresh products. In the middle of the store are a couple of tables with other products and a couple of trays for the customers to sample.
My first visit to Fromagerie Bothwell was made because I was in search of Notre Dame butter. I was wanting to do Christmas baking, and I wanted the premium quality of the Notre Dame butter. The closure earlier in the year of Boucher Bouchee meant that my nearby supply wasn’t available. So, I phoned up the Bothwell store and they assured me they had it in stock. The new store isn’t all that far from my parish home of St. Philip’s, So, I took a late afternoon walk over to the store.
When I arrived there were only four bounds sitting in the cooler, so I picked up all of them. I particularly liked the fact that the unsalted butter was only $4.99 per pound. That made it not only the best butter out there, but as far as unsalted goes, the cheapest as well.
While I was there I looked around to see what other products were available. I like to support local, and I picked up a bottle of cold-pressed soya oil. I also picked up a couple of the St. Pierre Tourtiere. They come two for six something and they make a delicious lunch.

Fromagerie soya oil
Soya Oil from Melo OIls.


Fromagerie Tourtiere pie
This tourtiere is filling and delicious. It contains more meat than an entire case of Swanson pies.

My next trip in, I was looking for something to take to my potluck for my final Saturday service at St. Margaret’s. One of the things I discovered is that you can find lots of different cheese ends at the store. These are the trimmings left over when the cheeses are packaged in their regular shapes. These usually end meaning that you get about 40% more cheese for the same price. If you’re like me and perfect shape and appearance don’t mean that much to you, these are a great bargain.

Fromagerie Bothsell
This is the best cheese I tried at Fromagerie Bothwell.

I bought several cheeses that day, but the MJ Black Truffle cheese was the one that really caught my eye and  taste buds. The cheese itself has a good, smooth texture and then the black truffle comes out as you continue to chew. I’ve already been back to pick up some more of this to eat at home.
One of the other things I picked up was something I’ve tried before. This is the Mr. Biltong, Red Hot Habanero, Biltong. You don’t have to wait for Farmers Market day. You can find this great snack at Fromagerie Bothwell, any time you want it.

Fromagerie Farther Afield

I’ve been back a third time, and figured that I would take a look at a couple of the products that they carried from outside of Manitoba. I didn’t try any of the international products, but decided on a couple of products from Quebec.
I chose one cheese, and a package of salami. The cheese is a Blue Benedictine from Quebec. This is made by monks at a Benedictine abbey at St. Benoit-du-Lac. This is a really creamy blue cheese. I had hoped to make it last a couple of meals, but it was so good, that I couldn’t stop and I finished it all in about five minutes.

Fromagerie Blue cheese
A Canadian made Blue Cheese.

The other thing I picked up was salami, also made in Quebec. This is high end salami. You can find similar things in places like No-Frills, and Safeway, but this is the real deal. This is a spicy salami that lives up to the spicy name. It’s good and chewy. It also made me wish that I had a deli slicer a home.

Luncheon meat from Fromagerie Bothwell.
This is a great piece of luncheon meat.

I also picked up a jar of Rhubarb Marmalade from Crampton’s Market. This is an interesting take on Marmalade. The Rhubarb gives a nice chunkiness to the marmalade. There is a some carrot and orange to give the Rhubarb a nice citrus finish.

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Rhubarb marmalade from Crampton’s market.

As good as the products are at Fromagerie are, the staff are even better. You are welcomed in friendly tones as you walk in the door. The staff are not only friendly, but they know the products well and do a good job in assisting you in finding the items that you are looking for.
I suspect I will be heading back to this shop. Especially when the summer comes and it makes for a pleasant walk down to the store from St. Philip’s. Plus, it’s just a few steps down from Choclatiere Constance Popp.

By Donald McKenzie

Anglican priest, and food blogger. This blog is focused on Food. It will feature reviews of places to eat books, and the odd recipe. I also write about what it means to gather together around food.