Organic Champlain Triple
Based in Vermont’s Champlain Valley, cheesemaker Carleton Yoder originally moved to the area with a degree in Food Science and a view to making hard cider. His interest in all things food and fermented eventually led him to work as an assistant cheesemaker at Shelburne Farms. There, his interest in the dairy world was ignited and after about a year, Yoder decided to set up his own business, founding Champlain Valley Creamery in 2003. Cow’s milk for production comes from Journey’s Hope Farm, a certified organic producer near Bridport on the shored of Lake Champlain. The herd are a mix of crossbred Jerseys and Holsteins, yielding milk that is an ideal cheesemaking blend of butterfat and solids. Having started by producing a handmade cream cheese, in 2005 Yoder decided to experiment with a triple cream. He took them to the farmers market where they sold out really quickly. He now makes 350 cheese per batch, up to four times each week. As its name suggests, Organic Champlain Triple is a triple cream cheese, meaning that cream has been added to whole milk resulting in a rich tasting and high butterfat cheese. After the milk is heated and coagulated, the curd is gently ladled by hand into small crottin forms. (Crottin forms traditionally come from France where they are used to produce small format cheeses such as Crottin and Chabis.) Yoder uses a combination of Penicilium Candidum and Geotricum mold spores that are part of the blend since he feels they introduce some complexity to the flavor of the finished cheese. The curd is allowed to drain under its own weight to expel excess whey since this allows for the maximum retention of moisture. The cheeses are then unmolded and transferred to maturing rooms where they remain for approximately twelve days prior to release.
Since the Organic Champlain Triple is sold at a young age, the texture is relatively firm and chalky at the time of release, becoming softer as the cheese ages. Aromas and flavors are rich, earthy and mushroom-like with a pleasant, clean lactic finish.