Cheesy Christmas 17: Carré du Trièves

Cheesy Christmas 17: Carré du Trièves

Today, we’re back in the Isère region for another mountain cheese – the Carré du Trièves.

(Wondering ‘Why the daily cheese posts?’ read this 🙂 )

Serious Business

I’ve said it before… I’ll say it again. The French are so serious about their cheeses, that this cheese in one that carries a special label: “Made from Mountain Milk” (Appellation “Lait de Montagne”).

The only cheeses that can carry this particular designation are those for which the milk was harvested at an altitude of 750m (2,460′) or higher. In the case of today’s cheese, the Carré du Trièves, the milk is collected at 900m (2,952′).

This kind of designation is right up there with the Protected Designations of Origin, etc. Very tightly regulated to ensure quality and authenticity.


Day #17: Carré du Trièves

  • Name: Carré du Trièves
    ‘Carré’ indicates the square shape of this cheese and ‘Trièves’ indicates the kind of cheese. The formal description is a mild, soft cheese that’s best consumed fresh, or aged for three weeks.
  • Region: Isère (same region as 2 days ago)
    It’s produced in the mountain village of Clelles, by the Fromagerie du Mont Aiguille.
  • Milk: Cow’s milk
    Technically, this cheese is made from ‘heat-treated, non-pasteurized milk’ (you may hear other terms as well… ‘Scalded milk’ or ‘thermized / thermalized milk’). I had to look up the French term to understand the difference because, silly me, I only knew about ‘raw milk’ and ‘pasteurized milk’. This one is in the middle.
    • heat-treated, non-pasteurized milk has been exposed to temperatures of 57˚C – 68˚C (135˚F – 154˚F) for a minimum of 15 seconds.
    • Pasteurized milk on the other hand, has been exposed to temperatures of 68˚C – 85˚C (154˚F – 185˚F) for between 12-30 seconds.
  • Our Score: 4/5
    OK, technically, the rating was 3.96/5, but I believe in rounding up! We all agreed with the marketing… mild and soft. Really, a very easy cheese to eat. One of the comments around the table was “You can smell the barn, you just cant taste it.” That pretty sums it up right there. It’s not a particularly unpleasant smell, but it’s definitely a cheese smell. We’d definitely do this one again.

Cheese quote of the day

Here’s a literary cheese quote for you today. It’s not quite as positive as others have been, but it’s James Joyce’s way of summing up cheese.

“Well and what’s cheese?
Corpse of milk?”

(Quite different from Clifton Fadiman who called cheese “milk’s leap toward eternity.”, maybe this just tells us a bit more about James Joyce!) 🙂


Happy Cheesy Christmas….
See you tomorrow for cheese #18

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