Sitting here with a generous sliver of Tomette des Corbières and a glass of local red wine, enjoying a tranquil evening together.
Life doesn't get much better.
France is referred to as l'hexagone - the hexagon, because it is six sided, and this hexagon shaped Tomette des Corbières is a fantastic representative of its country.
However, the cheese isn't named for the shape of France, rather for tomettes, the rustic, orange-brown tiles that are so commonly found in the area.
The Tomette des Corbières is an unpasteurized sheep's milk cheese produced in the picturesque and rugged Corbières region that is known for its wine, honey and goat cheese. It comes from the sole sheep farm in the area, owned by Chantal and Jean-Gabriel Donnet, who have a small herd of 150 ewes.
During its approximately 2-3 months of aging, each cheese is washed twice a week with salt water and then sprayed with Grenache, a local, amber-colored, fortified wine that has a 16% alcohol content. This process allows the cheese to develop a mild, honeyed flavor.
It is a dense cheese, with a substantial, toothsome texture and a nutty tasting rind. My first taste had me thinking hazelnuts and honey with gentle hints of mushroom.
I enjoyed its refined, sweet and soft flavors. Not too strong and not too mild, but a very elegant cheese. I was very happy to finally taste this one and I'll be equally happy to have it again in the future!
You can find Tomette des Corbières in many cheese shops around the world: in Paris, New York, Tokyo and in California.
If you can get a hold of some, you must try it!