May 19, 2010

La Fête du Fromage - Tomme de Chèvre

Every so often I come across a cheese that I think I've already tasted, when actually it is a completely different cheese, from a completely different region, but with the same name.  It can get confusing, I tell you!  I've learned to keep a little notebook of the cheeses I've tasted, so I can keep from getting them mixed up.

Since I'm on a mission to taste every cheese produced in France, if there are two or even three that share a name yet come from different areas, then they must be different cheeses.  It all goes back to that term terroir, which I believe applies to cheese as well as wine. 
A tomme style goat cheese produced in the Alps or in the Pyrénées, like the Tomme de Chèvre I tasted three years ago, cannot be the same as a Tomme de Chèvre from the Corrèze, like this one.
The goats graze on different grasses and flowers, the climate is different, the water is different, thus each cheese will have unique characteristics.

This Tomme de Chèvre is one of those perfect, luscious cheeses that I could happily nibble on day after day.
It has a well balanced flavor that is rich, slightly sweet, grassy and nutty and a bit tangy.  Its texture is silky smooth, creamy and very dense, and there is no evidence of goatiness, so no need to be wary if you're not a fan of goat cheese.

Chardonnay or a red such as Touraine would pair well with this chèvre.

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katiez said...

I think I need to join you in your quest.... One of my favorite things about visiting our friend in Spain is he always has about 6 different kinds of cheese on hand, from Spain, of course. And I bring 6 more... For 3 days I'm in cheese heaven.

Loulou said...

That does sound heavenly!
I know a few Spanish cheeses and loved them all. They do wonderful things with sheep's milk cheese over there.

ParisBreakfasts said...

mon dieu! It looks like a wedding white!
I LOVE favorite.
Bet the goat who made that lives next door too..
Silly New Yorker

Chez Loulou said...

No, the goats that made this delicious cheese live a few hundred kilometers away, but we do have some that live closer. :)

The Armchair Parisian said...

I love love love cheese. I remember trying one in Paris at Bofinger that I thought was Munster like I was used to in the states and it was dreadful ~ to me anyway! Then I started laughing because it was so bad I couldn't swallow it and my mother did too and before we knew it the French couple next to us were laughing as well. But they were laughing with us rather than at us. We talked to them for a bit and she told us her own terrible cheese story.

Anne in Oxfordshire said...

How confusing, .. good job you have you note book. :-) Another cheese to add to your list !!

Betty C. said...

We've been eating more and more tome...or tomme, depending on the area, I think. Tome de chèvre is one of my favorites too...

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

Oh, that does look good!
Thanks for stopping by my blog.
I see you have a house for sale!

Je m'appelle Cynthia said...

You need to write a book about cheese.
365 Days of French Cheese.

You have that many cheeses you've tasted???
And photograph them all.

Anonymous said...

I love chevre, but do you know why this cheese has a crust? Is it a crunchy, waxy crust or soft? We're so used to chevre being soft and creamy over here. It would be interesting to know what is different in this chevre-making process. (P.S. I made chevre at home recently - yay! I'm on course to open my own formagerie very soon! I'm kidding, of course.) Rocio (aka anon from your last post)

Andi said...

This is one of my absolute FAVORITE cheeses, love it!

Chez Loulou said...

Armchair Parisian
Great story! I have my own terrible cheese story with a cheese called Boulette d'Avesnes. Avoid at all costs!

I definitely need that notebook!
This is once cheese I'll be buying again.

The Tomme/Tome thing confuses me. What is the difference, I wonder? It must be a regional thing.
Tommes/Tomes are wonderful cheeses.

Thanks for stopping by as well.
Yes, the house is for sale. Interested? :)
Great name for a cheese book! I've made a note of it, thanks.

Glad to know your name!
The rind on this one was hard and I think, inedible. (though some might eat it) It is a pressed, aged cheese as opposed to a soft, ash covered or bloomy rind cheese.
Glad to hear you're making your own cheese. I loved my homemade chèvre and think it is the easiest thing in the world to do.

Me too!

Anonymous said...

It is confusing with all the similar names! I do love a good tomme, and a good chèvre. Had a nice goat tomme from the Basque country last year.

Chez Loulou said...

The cheese from the Basque country are some of my favorites. Especially the brebis!

Will said...

My wife and I have a small wine and cheese shop in Texas, and I've been telling our customers the same thing regarding terroir and cheese since the day we opened.
Just curious-how many of the French cheeses have you been able to sample so far? There are almost five times as many French cheeses as there are "Official" French cheeses.
This is my first time commenting, I just discovered your blog a few weeks ago and am enjoying it tremendously.

Chez Loulou said...

Hello! What a fantastic business you and your wife own.

I've tasted 170 and my notes are all listed here:

I love to hear from another cheese lover who is helping to create more cheese addicts. :) Keep up the good work!