If ever a cheese had promising genes, it would be this Wisconsin goat Cheddar. Introduced earlier this year, Trivium has more than two parents, actually—but that hardly raises eyebrows these days. “It’s the love child of our threesome,” claims Arnaud Solandt, one of the dads.
Solandt is referring to his longtime pals and fellow Frenchmen, Hervé Mons and François Kerautret. All of these gentlemen are in the cheese business, but in different niches. Solandt runs Mont Chevré, a Wisconsin goat cheese producer. (You may have tasted its delicious Chèvre in Blue.) Mons is one of France’s most esteemed affineurs (cheese agers). Kerautret is a top executive with Peterson, a major importer and distributor in the Pacific Northwest.
“We probably had one too many beers, and we started thinking of doing something together,” says Kerautret, recounting Trivium’s conception. Mons wanted to try making cheese in the U.S., and he wanted to steer some business to a protégé who operates aging caves in Brooklyn.
Cheddar seemed like a good place to start. It’s not as finicky as some styles, and it would demonstrate the team’s skill with aging.
For these initial wheels, Solandt’s Wisconsin crew did the cheese making, using a traditional milled-curd Cheddar recipe. The fresh wheels were then sent to Crown Finish Caves in Brooklyn, where affineur Benton Brown brushed, turned and pampered them for four months.
The 10-pound cylinders develop a thin natural rind dusted with white, gold and gray molds. The ivory interior is firm and dense, even a little chewy. I like the roasted-peanut, sweet, cooked-milk aroma—an appealing fragrance if not particularly Cheddar like. The flavor is mellow, not tangy, and the salting is generous. The best Cheddars are friable, sometimes a little waxy at first, then creamy on the tongue, with pronounced acidity. Trivium seems more like a mountain tomme to me than like a Cheddar, but it’s early innings, and my impressions are based on only one sampling. This is a project to follow.
Later this year, Trivium will become a farmstead cheese. Production is moving to a goat farm in Missouri, where the partners have made some trial batches with organic raw milk. These wheels, presuming they cut the mustard, should debut in the fall.
While Trivium is their firstborn, the partners have other products in development, including a bloomy-rind cheese. They expect to work with sheep’s and cow’s milk eventually and hope to build their own aging facility. Trivium, they tell me, is a Latin word for a place where three roads converge.
“It’s about friendship, really,” says Kerautret of their enterprise, christened Creamery 333. “We don’t sell food; we sell pleasure.”
Look for Trivium at Cheese Plus, Cowgirl Creamery, Mission Cheese and Other Avenues in San Francisco; Driver’s Market in Sausalito; Paradise Pantry in Ventura; Venissimo Cheese (multiple locations); Fromagio’s Artisan Cheese in Anchorage; and many Whole Foods nationwide.
Open a malt-forward beer such as a brown ale; a spicy Belgian-style brew like Ommegang Rare Vos; or an off-dry sherry.
18 Reasons to Make Yogurt
I can think of more, but I know I’ll share at least 18 ways to use homemade (or store-bought) yogurt in my June 5 class at San Francisco’s 18 Reasons. I’ll demonstrate the method for making yogurt with no special equipment, then we’ll all put on aprons for this hands-on cooking class. We’ll make the menu together, then sit down for dinner with wine. Register