Cheese Trier

Posted on April 4, 2009

Because I make soft cheese, I don’t need to have a cheese trier on hand. What is a cheese trier?

A cheese trier is a tool for, well, trying cheese. It kind of resembles an old school corkscrew, but instead of an auger on the end, a long, tapering cylindrical knife takes its place. This allows you to burrow deep into a large wheel of cheese leaving a small hole. Kind of like drilling a core sample, it provides you with a cross section of the wheel, gauging its maturation and any imperfections. It’s a very valuable tool for most cheesemakers, and, like most tools, a clever device well suited to its task.

My problem lies with the name. In winemaking, samples are extracted from the aging barrels with a “thief”, a large glass cousin of the turkey baster. Thief–now that has a ring to it. It implies mischief, sexiness and intrigue. “Trier”? Perhaps the word rolls off the tongue beautifully in French. But, beyond the goofy sound of the word, it just seems like the antithesis of elegance; utilitarian and drab.

I’m going to work on this. You’re welcome to join.

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