What Makes a Cheese ‘Triple Cream’?

nancy's camembert side angle close upIf you’ve spent any time lingering around in cheese shops (and we suppose you have!) you’ve likely heard the term ‘Triple Cream Cheese’ tossed around by the cheesemongers behind the counter.

What makes a cheese qualify for Triple Cream status? It all starts with the milk. Triple Cream cheese is made from whole milk with cream added to it; the finished cheese must have a minimum of 75% butterfat in it. And before you clutch at your heart after hearing that number, take into account that the amount of butterfat in cheese is measured in the fat in dry matter (or FDM), which for young, creamy cheeses is lower than in hard aged cheeses. Most triple cream cheeses are about 50% dry matter and 50% water, so of the 50% that is ‘dry matter’ 75% of that is butterfat.

Triple Cream cheeses are luscious, spreadable, creamy, and buttery. Some famous European examples are St. Andre and Brillat Savarin. Notable American triple creams are Kunik from Nettle Meadow Farm, Nancy’s Camembert from Old Chatham Sheepherding Co. and Mt. Tam from Cowgirl Creamery. Pair triple cream cheeses with champagne or other dry sparkling wines. The butterfat and bubbles work in perfect harmony… rich creamy cheese tempered by acidity and effervescence.

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