April 1, 2008

La Fête du Fromage - Tomette des Corbières

Monday evening:
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! Pin It


Robert said...

That looks spectacular.

Jennifer said...

It is! We have a lot left so we'll be enjoying it all week.

Dumdad said...

I'll look out for this, thanks.

Danielle said...

Wow, that cheese looks fantastically scrumptious. I can just imagine its supple texture and full flavor. And I loved its story! Thanks for sharing. :)

Jennifer said...

I hope you find some. It is a large piece, so you can enjoy it for a long time.

It has a really nice flavor! I nibbled a couple more chunks last night. It should last us another week, at least!

Betty Carlson said...

I've never even heard of this cheese. What proof of how vast the French cheese world is...

Jennifer said...

I'm sure you could find it at a fromagerie up there.
You should taste it!

Anonymous said...

Hi Loulou, stumbled across your blog when I was looking up information on the Corbiere's region (my grandparents owned a place near here) and I was so glad to hear someone else singing the praises of this cheese. I absolutely love it. Thanks!

Jennifer said...

This is by far one of my favorites. I'm happy to hear that others think so too!
Thanks for the link to Chez Loulou on Why Go France. I can add a link to your site on my sidebar if you would like...

Anonymous said...

That would be fantastic. I laughed reading your posts about encounters with French bureaucracy. Reminded me of a run-in with the "Bureau des Objets Perdus et Trouves." Also enjoy your photos. Maybe I could feature one on the WhyGo France site one day and link back to you.

Jennifer said...

I've added a link on my Travel Around France section on the sidebar.
Looking forward to reading more of your articles!