Hello, and Happy Lunar New Year! It’s the Year of the Monkey, and I hope it brings you all good things! This week, I want to share with you a new cheese that’s about to hit cheese cases in a big way: Trivium from Creamery 333 and Crown Finish Caves in Brooklyn, New York.
I spoke with Laure Dubouloz, who works with Hervé Mons, the renowned affineur, about the cheese. Why Hervé Mons? Well, because it is M. Mons, goat cheese maker Arnaud Solandt, and longtime cheese specialist François Kerautret who have joined forces to launch Creamery 333. For a long time, M. Mons has been thinking of working with American-based producers to bring high-quality artisan cheese to the American market because of all of the issues that arise from transporting cheeses from France. Messrs Mons, Solandt, and Kerautret have all wanted to collaborate for a while, and this seemed like the right moment to get working, especially with increased uncertainty regarding cheese importation. Given M. Solandt’s goat cheese expertise, the trio knew they would launch Creamery 333 with a goat cheese. They also knew they wanted a natural rind cheese that was expertly aged. This is where Benton Brown of Crown Finish Caves comes in. Well, actually, M. Brown had been in touch with Hervé Mons for a long time—that’s who M. Brown learned his affinage skills from. When Crown Finish Caves was launched, Creamery 333 approached them to see about affinage. Today, Trivium (which is a Latin term for a place where three roads meet) is made with pasteurized goat’s milk, and is aged at least 4 months. It is made in Wisconsin, then is shipped to the aging rooms of Crown Finish Caves.
As time goes on, we can expect to see more cheeses from Creamery 333, and we may even see more aged versions of Trivium!
Of course, I had to taste this beauty for myself. The concept behind Trivium is that of a goat-milk cheddar, and taking a whiff, I definitely was reminded of Montgomery’s Cheddar, the renowned English cheddar I used to sling from behind the cheese counter. It smells like earth and asparagus to me, heady and pungent. Inside, however, is a different story. It is pale bone-colored, with a smooth, dense paste. Regarding the mouthfeel, I appreciated the slightly melting texture. Tasting it, I sensed some rich citrus on the front, like grapefruit, but lots of sweet caramel on the finish. Toward the rind, there was a strong dose of contrasting earthiness that adds extra complexity.
For my taste test, I wanted to add a little something to accompany the cheese, so I opted for good ol’ Miel de Normandie, part of the kilo my mother-in-law gave me when we went back to Normandy last autumn. The honey’s delicate floral flavor and hefty granular texture complemented the cheese’s dense texture and bright flavors.
You can find this in some cheese shops out east, and can increasingly find it in western cheese shops!
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