July 2004 Edition
Choose Cheese!


Nothing is quite as versatile as cheese! With so many flavours and textures, when you serve up cheese the possibilities are endless. From quiche, to cheeseburgers, and grilled cheese sandwiches - many of the most basic menu items include cheese, and when it comes to more upscale fare, cheese also dominates - it seems chefs simply can’t get enough of this adaptable favourite. Time and again they turn to cheese to add interest and excitement to almost any dish.

Traditionally North American chefs have favoured European cheeses for their recipes, however with the growing varieties and excellent quality of cheeses now being made right here in Canada, there has been an increased interest in using Canadian cheese on the menu. And Canadians themselves are also driving interest in these home-grown favourites by fueling a demand for local, fresh foods. Consumers more than ever before are aware of the taste and flavour that cheese adds to meals - they purchase cheese often for at-home food preparation, and chefs are taking notice of this trend, responding by adding cheese to more and more menu items.

When it comes to creating upscale menu fare the use of specialty cheeses gives operators the chance to up the ante - and increase profit margins. By adding cheddar, swiss or grated parmesan they've found a quick and easy way of appealing to the customer's palate. Cheese adds to the flavour profile and is the ingredient of choice when it comes to dressing up menu fare to create upscale hamburgers, sandwiches and salads that can be offered at a premium price.

According to a 2003 online Market Facts study, nearly 50 percent of consumers are willing to pay more money at restaurants to add cheddar, mozzarella, American, Swiss, Monterey Jack or provolone to their menu items.1

Consumers also recognize the nutritional value of cheese. Canadians are often looking for fresh, healthful foods, when they eat at home and when they dine out, so having cheese on your menu can give you the edge. Quick Service restaurants are uniquely poised to take advantage of this trend, they can add cheese to a variety of popular food items such as burgers, salads, and sandwiches to enhance both the flavour of the food and the nutritional profile of the food.

With demand for cheese at an all time high, take advantage of the complete line of Sysco Brand Cheeses - cheese it up with cheesy mashed potatoes, cheddar cheese and sausage meatballs or grilled rib eye steak with Block & Barrel Imperial Medium Cheddar Cheese and roasted onion sauce. Offer linguine with sundried tomatoes and melted Arrezzio Full Fat Shredded Mozzarella Cheese, or add Casa Solana Monterey Shredded Cheese to quesadillas for Mexican food with kick.

Cheese blends are also a great way to offer unique flavours - create penne for cheese lovers by blending Block & Barrel Imperial Old White Cheddar, Arrezzio Mozzarella/Brick Shredded Cheese Blend, and Arrezzio Light Shredded Parmesan Cheese seasoned with paprika, or spice up bruschetta with Block & Barrel Imperial Swiss Cheese for a starter with flair. Create a truly cheesy macaroni with three or even four cheeses for a nontraditional variety that is sure to be a hit on your menu - and use a variety of cheeses to top a signature pizza for a bolder more interesting flavour.

Cheese also makes a perfect platter for the end of the meal - or choose cheese to create a one of a kind dessert - pair cheddar and pears to create a tart, deep fry brie fritters, or create mascarpone mini tarts by layering biscuits with mascarpone cheese flavoured with amaretto-anisette liqueur.

No matter what menu items you plan to serve, it makes sense to find a reason to add cheese! Its versatility, nutritious profile, and variety of flavours will allow you to create unique and delicious dishes that will add interest and excitement to your menu. ¨

1American Dairy Association.


Sysco Cheeses to Cheer For!


Parmesan owes its popularity to its versatility. It's an all-purpose cheese that everyone enjoys. Delightful when sprinkled on soup, pasta dishes, and pizza.

Arrezzio 100% Grated Parmesan SUPC 9115098

Arrezzio Light Shredded Parmesan SUPC 9115320


So versatile, cheddar can be used in a variety of recipes, from soup, cooked dishes, omelets, quiches, muffins, and biscuits; it's the most sought after cheese for platters, and cheese and cracker combos.

Block & Barrel Imperial Mild Cheddar SUPC 0441055

Block & Barrel Medium Cheddar SUPC 0167916

Block & Barrel Imperial Old Coloured Cheddar SUPC 0441022

Block & Barrel Imperial Old White Cheddar SUPC 0170175

Block & Barrel Imperial Marble SUPC 0170183

Block & Barrel Imperial Medium Slicing Cheddar SUPC 0170191

Casa Solana Medium Shredded Cheddar SUPC 0167130


The term Swiss Cheese often refers to an entire category of cheeses that are related to Emmental and Gruyère. They are truly classic favourites and lend themselves to creating exceptional breakfast menu items. They’re a natural as sandwich fillings and they make exceptional snacks. With its ability to melt so beautifully, Swiss cheese is ideal for pasta dishes, potatoes au gratin, and fondues.

Block & Barrel Imperial Swiss SUPC 016799

Montery Jack

Developed in North America circa 1892. Montery Jack Cheese is also called Jack, Monterey or California Jack Cheese. It is appreciated for its homogenous, supple soft texture and it’s mild flavour with just a hint of tartness. Monterey Jack Cheese brings out the flavour of chili con carne and Mexican food. It can also be sprinkled over a salad, added to a sandwich, melted in an omelet or mixed with pasta or rice.

Block & Barrel Imperial Monterey Jack SUPC 0169573

Casa Solana Monterey Shredded SUPC 0167098


Mozzarella Cheese dominates in foodservice thanks to the popularity of pizza.

Arrezzio Partly Skimmed Mozzarella SUPC 0466029

Arrezzio Full Fat Mozzarella SUPC 0466896

Arrezzio Full Fat Shredded Mozzarella SUPC 0458083

The increased interest in Cheese Courses on Canadian menus provides innovation and expansion to the menu and makes for memorable moments for your customer. The cheese course is a perfect means of adding a course without interfering with the selection of other menu items, and you won’t want to miss out on the opportunity to sell the perfect wine to accompany it! More and more bistros are including this course in the menu along with providing tips on cheese and the most appropriate wine and beer pairings so the customer can get the most out of the experience.

Canadians love their cheese! In 2002 consumption per capita was 12 Kg. Source: Statistics Canada

Zucchini Stuffed with Italian Sausage

Serves: 12

Metric Imperial

Small zucchini, cut in two lengthwise 12

Olive oil  85 mL or 3 oz

Onion, finely chopped 450 g or 1 lb

Garlic, finely chopped 3 cloves

Italian sausage, without casing 1.4 kg or 3 lb

Italian bread crumbs 140 g or 5 oz

Block & Barrel Imperial Monterey Jack Cheese, grated 140 g  or5 oz

Eggs, beaten 3

Tomato sauce 340 mL or 12 oz

Arrezzio Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese 140 g or 5 oz

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste


  • Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Remove seeds and scoop out some of the pulp from the zucchini. Set aside.
  • Sweat onion and garlic in oil. Add sausage meat and cook until browned, breaking pieces up with the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and cool. Mix in bread crumbs, Monterey Jack Cheese and eggs. Season.
  • Stuff zucchini. Pour tomato sauce into an appropriate size baking dish. Place zucchini on top of tomato sauce. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Bake until cheese is browned and bubbly.