Cave to Co-op, December 2021

Each month, your Neighboring Food Co-ops feature our region’s artisan cheesemakers by offering a specially selected cheese at great price. Look for the “Cave to Co-op” sign in the cheese section at your local food co-op. To find one near you, visit

This month’s special cheese is CHAMPLAIN VALLEY TRIPLE CREAM with Truffles from Champlain Valley Creamery, Middlebury, VT

With a graduate degree in Food Science and a background in wine making, Carleton Yoder moved to Vermont in the late 1990s to make hard apple cider. He took a year’s detour making farmstead Vermont cheddar at Shelburne Farms, and then decided to venture into cheesemaking on his own. After a number of years in an old mill in Vergennes,

where he carried countless full milk cans up countless flights of stairs, he finds himself in Middlebury along with a small crew, making cheese that is produced by traditional recipes and methods, aided by modern technology. The milk Champlain Valley uses is 100% grass-fed organic Jersey cow milk from Severy Farm in Cornwall, VT, about 15 minutes from the creamery in Middlebury.

The texture of his Organic Triple Cream is velvety and the flavor is full of milky sweetness and it melts like butter in the mouth. It is a delightful cheese, with a beautiful soft ripened triple cream and a bloomy rind, earthy and with hints of mushroom and a thin layer of Italian black truffles.

Champlain Valley Triple Cream is an American Cheese Society Award Winner is excellent for a cheese plate or add to omelets or frittatas, place a dollop on grilled chicken or beef and watch it slowly melt. Here are a few ideas, courtesy of Provisions International Ltd.

Champlain Valley Triple Cream w/ Citrus and Herbs
Serves 4

This recipe highlights the cheese flavor with the clear taste of citrus.

  • 2 Champlain Valley Triple Creams
  • 1 cup flat leaf parsley leaves, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, basil or chives, chopped
  • Grated peel of 1 lemon
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Mix herbs, lemon peel, salt and pepper in small bowl.  Slice the Triple Cream in half horizontally and remove the top layer of each. Carefully spread the herb mixture evenly over the bottom layers, pressing gently to help it adhere. Replace the top and wrap each cheese separately in aluminum foil and let them sit out at room temperature for an hour. Pre-heat oven to 350 ºF. Place the packets of cheese on a baking sheet with rimmed sides and bake in the pre-heated oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let the packets rest for 20 minutes. Unwrap carefully and transfer the cheese to a platter. Serve with crusty bread and fresh fruit.

Roast Asparagus with Champlain Valley Triple Cream
Serves 4.  This is a great way to take advantage of the season’s asparagus.

  • 1 bunch fresh asparagus, washed, ends trimmed
  • 1 Champlain Valley Triple Cream
  • 1 tablespoon best quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh herbs, chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground pepper

Pre-heat oven to 450 ºF.  Mix the olive oil, herbs and seasoning in the bottom of a baking dish just big enough to hold the asparagus in one layer. Gently toss the asparagus with this mixture. Roast in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes until not quite done. Remove from oven and crumble the Triple Cream evenly on top of the asparagus, return to oven and cook until the cheese is melted. Drizzle with a bit more olive oil and serve immediately.

Radish and Arugula Crostini with Champlain Valley Triple Cream
Makes 12 crostini

  • 12 – ½ inch think diagonal slices of French baguette
  • 1 ½ cups thinly sliced assorted radishes
  • 3 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • freshly ground pepper and flaky sea salt
  • 1 Champlain Valley Triple Cream, divided into 12 slices
  • 1 cup baby arugula

Pre-heat oven to 450 ºF.  Arrange bread slices on a baking sheet, brush lightly with some of the olive oil. Bake for 5 minutes or until golden brown and toasty. Cool. Toss radishes with remaining olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. Spread each bread slice with a slice of Triple Cream, top with a layer of arugula and then a layer of radish slices. Serve.


Rhubarb, Honey and Champlain Valley Triple Cream Panini
Serves 2: a delicious and unique spring dessert!

2 large stalks red rhubarb, cleaned and trimmed
2 tablespoons of your favorite honey
2 tablespoons water
½ teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
4 slices rustic bread
1 Champlain Valley Triple Cream
extra-virgin olive oil

Chop the rhubarb into ½  inch slices. In a small saucepan combine the rhubarb, honey, and water. With the lid on, sauté on medium heat for 5-7 minutes, or until soft. Stir occasionally to avoid burning. If it gets very dry, add a tiny bit more water. But don’t add too much, you want it to be thick. Turn off the heat and stir in the tarragon. Layer thin slices of the Triple Cream on two slices of bread and top with the rhubarb mixture. Cover with remaining bread and brush oil on the outside of the sandwiches. In a medium-high grill pan or panini press, cook the sandwiches on each side for 2-3 minutes, or until nice grill marks appear and cheese oozes down the sides. Let cool slightly before cutting and serving. Serve with extra honey on the side if you wish!

Cave to Co-op is a partnership between Provision International and the Neighboring Food Co-op Association (NFCA) to support local, artisanal cheese producers in our region and make their products more easily available to co-op shoppers.  The NFCA is a network of more than 40 food co-ops in our region — including yours — that are working together to advance their vision of a thriving regional economy, rooted in a healthy, just and sustainable food system and a vibrant community of co-operative enterprise.  For more information, please visit