I went to a supermarket this weekend and looked at the cheese (how could I not!) I saw the following: Cheddar, Mozzarella, Swiss, Jack, Feta, Parmesan, Brie, Camembert, and Blue-the last three in the “deli” department. Cheddar itself came in: orange, white and marbled, as well as shredded in both regular, light and “tex-mex.”
I realize, that before starting this blog, that was-essentially-my little world of cheese. Cheddar, in many forms, and some other stuff. Why is that? Why have we limited our scope of cheese to such a horrific extent? I get that there are some limitations, a cheese with an AOC or DOP designation can’t be made locally-ok, but some version of it could. Not all sparkling white wine comes from Champagne. Cheese is fragile-I get that too. It costs a lot of money to ship it to Canada-especially young cheese…but Brie makes it here, and why? Let me tell you, Chaumes is so much better!
I digress. Today, we shall sample Tomme de Montagne. A Tomme is actually a type of cheese-an inclusive name given to a class of cheese produced from the skim milk left over after the cream has been removed for other purposes-hence, a Tomme cheese is lower in fat. My Tomme is a cow cheese from unpasteurized (raw) milk from the Pyrenees, France. It’s a semi-firm Mountain cheese (Montagne means mountain!) A litttle web surfing also provides some other facts: Tomme de Montagne is great melted for Raclette, a French dish with melted cheese and potatoes, Tomme de Montagne is not just “cave aged” but “grotto aged” for 2-3 months-now that’s cool, my first grotto cheese.
My little slice of Tomme de Montagne is acutally quite a large slice-this must come from a big wheel. The interior of this cheese looks softer than the other mountain cheeses, almost spreadable if convinced. Some sources claim this brown rind is beer washed and edible, but I can’t determine that definitively, so I will skip the rind for today. The cheese smells mild and friendly, the paste glistens, beckoning me to sample.
The texture of this cheese is lovely. It’s rubbery, then melty straight away, no horrible tongue coating paste for this Tomme. For a low fat cheese it certainly tastes rich, so that’s good. It’s a little bitter though, for my taste. It’s utterly mild and benign, like a white t-shirt-sure, it goes with everything-but who cares? There’s not much more I can say about this cheese, It’s kind of forgettable. Perhaps I need to melt it over some potatoes to get the full impact.