L’Hercule de Charlevoix is an artisan cheese with a rosy copper coloured rind and a smooth, firm, supple pate that becomes slightly crumbly with age. Marked buttery aroma with a hint of dairy. Complex flavours of nuts, butter and grain, with a fruity end note.
The name of this cheese refers to the nickname given to Baie-Saint-Paul native Jean-Baptiste Grenon ‒ l’Hercule du Nord or Hercules of the North. According to legend, in 1759 he was made prisoner by Wolfe’s troops but was quickly released because of his mythical strength that no man could master.
The Hercule is one of Canada’s unique cheeses in that it is the first alpine style cheese that is comparable to noble cheeses such as Gruyère and Comté. Made from the milk of a small herd of 30 Jersey cows, which graze 1 km away from the cheese making facility on the Stessi farm, l’Hercule is a smooth textured and rich flavoured cheese. Despite the lack of Alpine slopes and wildflower pastures, l’Hercule offers all the same nutty, sweet, and fruity aromas along with sweet, complex flavours and smooth creamy texture that one associates with great alpine cheeses. These lovely qualities only improve as the cheese ages to 18 months. The brine-washed rind offers the slight grit that is so typical of Quebec cheeses, further exemplifying it as a great Canadian cheese.