There are so many different kinds of cheeses; it’s an almost impossible task to properly categorize them all. Hard, semi-hard, soft, semi-soft, double cream, triple cream, the categories seem endless! But one thing everyone can agree with is that a creamy cheese is always one of the most popular options on the cheese board. So what makes certain cheeses so deliciously unctuous and creamy? The answer is butterfat. What is it, and what role does it play with creamy cheese? Read on and find out!
Butterfat, also known as milk fat, is the fatty part of the milk. All cheeses contain some butterfat (unless you’re eating a fat free cheese, which is a very processed product). The creamiest cheese contains the highest amount of butterfat. In order to legally call a cheese Double Cream or Triple Cream, they have to have a minimum amount of butterfat content.
Double Cream Cheese: a double cream has to have at least 60% butterfat content. Fromage D’ Affinois, and the ever-popular Boursin are examples of double creams. Petit Suisse was the first double cream cheese, created in about 1850.
Triple Cream Cheese: In order to be called triple cream, a cheese must have at least 75% or more butterfat content. This is a relatively new kind of cheese, invented in the early 20th century by adding even MORE cream to a double cream cheese. Some of the most delicious examples of this heavenly invention are Delice de Bourgogne, Saint Andre and Italian Cambozola (this last one a wonderful blue cheese). You can definitely tell the difference the additional butterfat makes, these cheeses completely melt in your mouth.
Double and Triple Cream fromages are incredibly rich and creamy; they’re buttery and easy to spread, with a wonderful natural sweetness thanks to the added cream. The flavor is smooth and mild, as they’re not aged for long periods of time. Rich and dense, pair them with light accompaniments for contrast, so as to not overwhelm the palate. To drink, champagne and Prosecco are good choices. Fresh fruit is a must, like strawberries, raspberries (any type of berry will work), grapes, pears, and nuts like walnuts.
One a final note regarding butterfat: although the words “butter” and “fat” might throw health-conscious gourmets into a panic, keep in mind that butterfat in this case refers to the percentage of fat only in the dry matter of the cheese. A cheese has dry and moist content, and in the case of triple and double creams, that moisture content is quite high, almost 50%. So, the butterfat content is 70% of HALF the cheese, and the TOTAL fat of the cheese is a lot less than 60 or 70%, sometimes just 30-35%.
Albertina Roca writes about gourmet food, recipes, and ingredients; her expert opinion is, the higher the butterfat, the better the cheese! For more information please visit http://www.gourmetfoodstore.com