The Triple Cream Dream: How to Select, Serve, and Store

Posted by Emilia D'Albero on

It's no secret that a creamy, gooey Brie is one of the most popular cheeses at any cheese shop or counter. There is something about a dense, buttery interior enrobed by that snow white rind that many cheese lovers find irresistible. You may have heard cheesemongers refer to "bloomy-rinded" or "soft-ripened" cheeses, which is a category of cheese encompassing many soft cheeses that use molds like p. candidum to form that signature thin, white/grey rind. But while all Bries are bloomy rind cheeses, not all bloomy rind cheeses are Brie! Members of this particular family include, yes, Brie, but also Camembert, robiola, and many decadent, luscious triple creams like Delice de Bourgogne and Brillat-Savarin. 

So what is the difference, and what should you look for when buying triple creams? First, we need to understand the anatomy of a cheese. The whitish grey outer part of the cheese is called the rind, which is -gasp- totally natural and completely edible! It also does not need to be uniformly white - it is completely normal to see hints of grey, yellow, orange, and red, but if the rind starts to appear brown and slimy, it's time to toss that piece. 

The inner part of the cheese is called the paste, which can appear chalky when the cheese is young, and will gradually become softer and creamier as the cheese ages. This is a process called proteolysis, aka the breakdown of protein, and is best illustrated by the creamline, which is that creamy part of the cheese in between the rind and the inner paste. Bloomy rind cheeses typically ripen from the outside in, so the protein breakdown starts at the creamline and as the cheese ages, the paste will eventually become uniformly soft and gooey. When the cheese is perfectly "à point," meaning "ripe" in French, the paste will be completely broken down and spreadable. 

Your cheesemonger should be able to point you in the right direction of which cheeses are à point and ready to enjoy, but if you are picking cheese from a grab and go case, the best way to tell if a cheese is ripe is to gently squeeze it. If it's still firm in the middle, it needs a bit more time.

Now, what does the term "triple cream" mean? These are cheeses that have had cream added for extra decadence, and must contain at least 75% butterfat. A common misconception is that "75% butterfat" means that these cheeses are basically butter. In reality, this refers to the percent of fat in dry matter (FDM) or the solids, which is an important distinction because soft cheeses contain high levels of moisture, sometimes up to 50%! So, it's not that 75% of the total cheese is fat, it's that 75% of the solids are fat, which puts the total fat at a much lower percentage.   

Soft cheeses like triple creams are usually very delicate, so they require certain tools for cutting and serving. As a general rule of thumb - the softer the cheese, the thinner the blade. Our Professional Soft Cheese Knife has a hollow blade that allows for a clean cut that prevents the paste from sticking to the blade. For excessively gooey cheeses, you can use our classic Wire Cutter or even our Spreader Knife

And finally, such a luxurious cheese demands luxurious care! Our plant-based and plastic-free Cellophane Sheets are specially designed to allow these delicate bloomy rinds to breathe, as they require more oxygen to thrive. We also recommend Formaticum Reusable Cheese Storage Sheets for wrapping those extra-gooey pieces of cheese that require a little bit more structure and care. 

Email with any questions about cheese storage or wholesale inquiries. 

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