November 18, 2009

La Fête du Fromage - Tomme de Brenac

If a cheese could evoke the spirit of the region where it is produced, in my opinion Tomme de Brenac is it.

Though I spent a mere twenty-four hours in Aveyron last week, I feel like I got a good sense of the place thanks to my personal tour guide and her lovely family, and a brief spin around the beautiful, cow and sheep filled countryside.

Tomme de Brenac's somber, grey rind is reminiscent of the cloudy skies and foggy weather of mid-autumn that I experienced, but underneath that rind is a cheese with a reliable, honest character and surprising joie de vivre.
It is full of rich butter, mushroom and yeasty flavors and has a faint, moldy aroma. Its texture is soft and smooth, and a bit chalky in the center.

Overall this Tomme is somewhat rustic, yet refined. But not complex.
You're following me, aren't you?

The pastures surrounding the tiny village (population 230 or so) of Graissac in northern Aveyron is home to a herd of forty Simmental cows whose sweet, grass-rich milk is used to produce Tomme de Brenac (as well as Laguiole and Tome Fraîche de l'Aubrac).

It pairs wonderfully with our local Minervois red, but a glass of Marcillac, produced just down the road from this cheese, would also be a good wine match. Pin It


Betty Carlson said...

I love how you compare the cheese to the weather! BTW, the weather got gorgeous and warm after you it's not ALL grey and depressing.

Marie of Chez Marie was greatly disappointed to have missed you, so you have to come back SOON!

Jennifer said...

I made sure to state "that I experienced" so others would know that it isn't like that all the time. Heck, it's been grey and cloudy here for days. Typical autumn.
I also compared it to the people, which were great! :)

I will come back soon! Chez Marie looks fantastic. It could be a day trip. Not that much further than going to Albi, which I did in a day. We could meet for lunch.

Betty Carlson said...

Sounds good! Maybe when we're getting more toward "les beaux jours" -- although it's a nice, cozy place to eat too!

Take care!