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Grocery Stores

International Cheese

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on February 24, 2011

International CheeseThe International Cheese Company's retail store is like Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory for the cheese lover. Walking into the factory shop near Keele and St. Clair, all I can see is cheese; cheese by the counter, hanging from the ceiling, behind glass, on the shelves and in bins. It's not a huge space, either, but it's filled to the brim with some of the freshest cheese in the city. And even if you've never been here, chances are, you've already tasted it.

International CheeseInternational sells its cheese to major supermarkets such as Fortinos, Longos, and Sobeys, as well as a variety of independent stores and restaurants across the city and rest of Canada. Each cheese is handmade in this little shop off Keele, amid a community of residential homes, factory stores, and what seems like a surplus of mechanics' shops.

International CheeseInternational Cheese Company has been in business for over 40 years, making award-winning cheeses under its signature "Santa Lucia" line. Previously a family business, three partners took over International 16 years ago after the patriarch of the family died and the other members decided to give it up. But they stay true to International's mantra of handmade, fresh, and pure cheese.

International Cheese"We don't add any additives to our milk," Mario, one of the owners tells me. He strikes me as the quintessential cheese-maker: tall, dark, and talks with his hands. "And the difference is clear. The shelf life for our cheese is around five weeks; the other supermarket kind can last two to three months." International sticks to tried and true methods as well. "It's all open vats, no automation, and production on a small scale."

International CheeseThere are over 32 types of cheese produced here, the most popular being Ricotta and Bocconcini, both of which are incredibly creamy, mild, and fresh-tasting. International's Santa Lucia Bocconcini was actually among the finalists of the 2009 Canadian Cheese Grand Prix. Other cheeses include Oaxaca, Passitti, Mozzarella, Romanello, and the list goes on. Of course, you can always check your supermarket for International's products, but for the freshest taste, it's definitely worth stopping by.

International CheeseInternational CheeseInternational CheeseInternational CheesePhotos by Dennis Marciniak

Discussion

26 Comments

Bruno / November 17, 2009 at 10:09 am
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I've been to the International Cheese store a few times as have by parents. Being Portuguese we love our cheese and we all love International Cheeses signature Santa Lucia Line which is famous for its award winning Ricotta Cheese. I do have to say that their cheese taste amazing. I would suggest to anyone that you go down their yourself. Its a great location with friendly people.
Facundo / November 17, 2009 at 02:39 pm
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I have to say the cheeses found at International Cheese are by far the best cheeses I've ever tried. If you're in Toronto you should really visit them. I really love their Santa Lucia Mozzarella, I use it on my pizzas all the time.
Bruce / November 18, 2009 at 01:10 am
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International Cheese is really great. I love their Santa Lucia Cheese. Even the Santa Lucia Website has some great recipe ideas to use with Santa Lucia Cheese. You can check it out at www.santalucia.ca or if you just go to the www.internationalcheese.ca and click the recipe banner at the bottom it will take you there.

It's a really cool site with some great video tips and cheese recipes. Also i just have to say that Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese taste amazing. Sorry i just had to say that.
teresa replying to a comment from Bruno / November 23, 2009 at 12:58 pm
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Santa Lucia cheese just got the best class for ricotta an boconcinni British Empire Show 2009,simply the Best in Canada
Congratulation to the cheesemakers.
Mike L. / February 25, 2011 at 10:41 am
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These comments sound fishy, like they were written by employees of the company. Also, why are the date stamps on them from 2009? Is this a repost?
Moi / February 25, 2011 at 11:24 am
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LOL......you are right Mike.....something CHEESEy about this.......heehehehe
Bubba / February 25, 2011 at 11:49 am
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it's all about Le formage!
sean / February 25, 2011 at 05:14 pm
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the first comments are so sketchy, please take those down. If you want to advertise on BlogTo, buy an ad.
Tanja / February 27, 2011 at 02:35 am
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Love this place. I walk over to get a fresh tub of ricotta here whenever I can. It's so fresh it's still hot in the tub -- and you just can't beat that. Oh man... I could just sit down with a spoon and dig in (ok, maybe I have).
Z / March 13, 2011 at 11:22 am
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As much as the first few comments sound fishy, I don't even care. This place DOES make the best cheese. There's nothing better than their fresh, warm ricotta. Seriously.
FISHY_AND_CHEESY / June 17, 2011 at 11:15 am
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I've been to the International Cheese store a few times as have by parents. Being Portuguese we love our cheese and we all love International Cheeses signature Santa Lucia Line which is famous for its award winning Ricotta Cheese. I do have to say that their cheese taste amazing. I would suggest to anyone that you go down their yourself. Its a great location with friendly people.

International Cheese is really great. I love their Santa Lucia Cheese. Even the Santa Lucia Website has some great recipe ideas to use with Santa Lucia Cheese. You can check it out at www.santalucia.ca or if you just go to the www.internationalcheese.ca and click the recipe banner at the bottom it will take you there.

It's a really cool site with some great video tips and cheese recipes. Also i just have to say that Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese taste amazing. Sorry i just had to say that.

I've been to the International Cheese store a few times as have by parents. Being Portuguese we love our cheese and we all love International Cheeses signature Santa Lucia Line which is famous for its award winning Ricotta Cheese. I do have to say that their cheese taste amazing. I would suggest to anyone that you go down their yourself. Its a great location with friendly people.

International Cheese is really great. I love their Santa Lucia Cheese. Even the Santa Lucia Website has some great recipe ideas to use with Santa Lucia Cheese. You can check it out at www.santalucia.ca or if you just go to the www.internationalcheese.ca and click the recipe banner at the bottom it will take you there.

It's a really cool site with some great video tips and cheese recipes. Also i just have to say that Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese taste amazing. Sorry i just had to say that.

I've been to the International Cheese store a few times as have by parents. Being Portuguese we love our cheese and we all love International Cheeses signature Santa Lucia Line which is famous for its award winning Ricotta Cheese. I do have to say that their cheese taste amazing. I would suggest to anyone that you go down their yourself. Its a great location with friendly people.

International Cheese is really great. I love their Santa Lucia Cheese. Even the Santa Lucia Website has some great recipe ideas to use with Santa Lucia Cheese. You can check it out at www.santalucia.ca or if you just go to the www.internationalcheese.ca and click the recipe banner at the bottom it will take you there.

It's a really cool site with some great video tips and cheese recipes. Also i just have to say that Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese taste amazing. Sorry i just had to say that.

I've been to the International Cheese store a few times as have by parents. Being Portuguese we love our cheese and we all love International Cheeses signature Santa Lucia Line which is famous for its award winning Ricotta Cheese. I do have to say that their cheese taste amazing. I would suggest to anyone that you go down their yourself. Its a great location with friendly people.

International Cheese is really great. I love their Santa Lucia Cheese. Even the Santa Lucia Website has some great recipe ideas to use with Santa Lucia Cheese. You can check it out at www.santalucia.ca or if you just go to the www.internationalcheese.ca and click the recipe banner at the bottom it will take you there.

It's a really cool site with some great video tips and cheese recipes. Also i just have to say that Santa Lucia Ricotta Cheese taste amazing. Sorry i just had to say that.
sandra / August 7, 2011 at 08:11 am
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Do they carry mizithra (goat) cheese?
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