Country of Origin: Canada (Québéc)
Milk-type: Pasteurized Cow’s milk
In 1893, master cheesemaker and monk, Brother Alphonse Juin of the Order of Cistercians, arrived at a Trappist monastery in Oka, Québéc—l’Abbaye Notre-Dame du Lac. He had brought with him a recipe for Port Salut cheese, itself an innovation of the Trappist order which was first made in France, and later popularly made at a number of Cistercian Monasteries abroad. While at the Abbey, he “tweaked and adjusted” the recipe, eventually landing upon the process by which Oka cheese is now made. Later that same year, Alphonse Juin’s creation won frist prize in a cheese event at the Montréal Expo, and has since then gone on to become one of Canada’s most uniquely recognizable and beloved cheeses.
Oka has a distinct, somewhat pungent aroma, yeasty and mushroomy, arising from the rind-washing process.