Nature’s Best Dairy Products
Joe Bitton and Ari Lipsey are the proud owners of Nature’s Best. Joseph Bitton has been in the Chalav Yisrael milk business for four years ago. When he decided to expand into the cheese business, he approached Ari Lipsey, a business associate for many years.
From the inception of their company, they decided that their products would all be high quality and Chalav Yisrael, creating an product that could be enjoyed by the entire Jewish community.
MK and Nature’s Best
Ari had been involved with MK Canada’s Kosher Certifier a few years before starting Nature’s Best Cheese and felt that it represented the broadest sector of the kosher community.
Chalav Yisrael refers to milk or dairy products that have been under constant rabbinic supervision.
To ensure a product is Chalav Yisrael, Jewish law requires that in the production of dairy products, a Mashgiach or Jewish supervisor must be present from the beginning of the milking to the end of processing to ensure that only milk from kosher animals is used.
Nature’s Best uses milk that comes from a farm owned by a Jew. It is the largest cow farm in Eastern Canada, with all their products emanating from a production plant in Ontario. Their is an Orthodox Jew who works on the farm inspecting the milk at all times. The farm is very close to the cheese plant.
Their mandate and focus is that the quality of their products must be perfect before it goes on the market. If you noticed the great taste, it is because it took two years before they were satisfied with the quality. To have a consistent product, they must, and do, maintain a strict quality control. Joe and Ari have become craftsmen sharing their passion for making cheeses.
The partners worked with a plant in Ontario that was interested in taking on the project. In order to increase production, the partners worked with the plant to get it producing Chalav Yisrael five days a week. They are close to having the only plant in North America that runs Chalav Yisrael all year round, without the need to rekasher before every production.
Their emphasis is on quality and as such, their cheeses have good shelf life. The re-sealable bags of shreds, for example, lets you enjoy the flavor of the cheese without having to worry about mold growth.
As the cheese facilities are not located on the farms, trucks filled with Chalav Yisrael milk are sealed at the farm and sent to the plant.
The block cheeses use pure milk, with no additives. The laws in Canada are stricter and therefore the cheeses are always fresher as the rules for shelf life claims are stricter than the US.
Water and fat content also must be declared on the package and again, American products are not required to disclose this.
Nature’s Best Products
This company has many cheese products including mozzarella, white and orange cheddar, Muenster, mixes of those cheeses, low-fat mozzarella, feta, Havarti, marble cheese, and Monterey Jack. Edam, Colby and Gouda are coming soon. Fresh white and orange curds for poutine (the only ones who do this cholov Israel) are also available. Nature’s Best Cheese is an all-natural product and therefore will not do American cheese slices as it they are made with milk powder, not milk.
Their products available in Montreal at the Fooderie, Maxi, Loblaw’s, Metro. In Toronto at Kosher City, Savers, Sobey’s, No frills supermarkets. Many restautants have also switched. Their long-term plan is to get into all kosher stores all over Canada and when the plant is completely cholov Israel they want to venture into the United States, and expand into cholov yisrael aged cheddars, for which the plant recently won three first place awards. Their cheeses are available in bulk and for retail sale.
It is to be noted that the quality of milk produced in Canada is far superior to that of the United States, which means that our cheeses are far superior in taste. Did you know that to make one kilo of hard cheese you need ten kilos of mil? It’s one of the reasons cheeses in general are more expensive than other food products.
Nature’s Best Cheese main goal is to give the consumer the best product at the best price. While competition is a good thing for both the producer and consumer, in today’s market, Nature’s Best cheeses are by far the best value on the market.
By: Joannie Tansky
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