“Cave to Co-op” Special Artisan Cheese for May, 2014

PYRAMID SCHEME (Organic cow milk with an ashed, bloomy rind)

Champlain Valley Creamery, Middlebury, Vermont  //  Carleton Yoder, cheesemaker

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. Today, he finds himself in Middlebury making award-wining cheese that is produced using traditional recipes and methods. The milk for Champlain Valley Creamery cheese comes from a single herd of crossbred Jersey and Holstein organic cows in nearby Bridport, Vermont.

Carleton produces an Organic Triple Cream, Old Fashioned Cream Cheese and recently, Pyramid Scheme, which is a yummy truncated pyramid with a vegetable-ash covered bloomy rind. Similar to Triple Cream, Pyramid Scheme is dense and fudgy with the milky sweetness of fresh Vermont organic cow milk and the added complexity of a tiny tang on the finish.

The vegetable ash gives Pyramid Scheme not only its distinct look but also helps to neutralize the acidity, aids in the ripening process and produces a especially sweet and creamy cheese.

Pyramid Scheme is best eaten on its own, with a bit of bread and perhaps a drizzle of honey or your favorite jam. If cook with it you must, we suggest topping a pizza, making paninis, crumbling some on top of your favorite pasta or melting it over grilled vegetables. For a beverage, Carleton himself suggests “sparkling wine, ciders, some fruit Belgian style ales . . . bubbles for scrubbing the butterfat!”

Enjoy the Spring!

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 20 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 www.nfca.coop.