Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Tomme Sweet Tomme

Point Reyes Tomme

  This past weekend I spent some time in Chattanooga, TN. Along with drinking multiple Yazoo beers and stuffing my face with delicious Urban Stack burgers, I also made my way over to Sequatchie Cove Creamery to meet the fine folks who craft such gems as Cumberland tomme. Later, I would come home to discover an entirely different tomme waiting for me.

Sequatchie Valley, TN
Sequatchie Valley, TN

  Lucky me received another package from Point Reyes Dairy. While this one was not part of the official tasting, it was (I say was because it it quickly vanished into my mouth) very special in the sense that it is not available to the rest of the public.
  Having recently had the Cumberland, it was a fun comparison trying the Point Reyes tomme. While tomme is a style, the individual cheeses can all vary wildly. The Point Reyes was just as fantastic as Sequatchie Cove's example, but totally different. While the Cumberland is earthy, smooth, and somewhat soft, the Point Reyes was rather hard and crumbly. The paste was golden with large "crunchies" (amino acid clusters), and the nose was sweet, grassy, and tropical. The taste was surprising and fun; bright, sweet, salty, and bursting with lemon and grapefruit flavors. I made it a point to sample a piece with Yazoo's latest Hop Project. The tropical notes of the cheese danced around with the floral hoppiness of the beer, making a great pairing.
  The beauty in handcrafted cheeses like these is the individual uniqueness of the styles. These cheeses aren't mass manufactured, and that should be celebrated. My weekend of tomme made for a very sweet homecoming indeed. Tomme sweet tomme. Oh, I just couldn't help myself.

Cheese in the Music City

  I have always been madly in love with cheese. I am also quite head over heels in love with the city of Nashville. You can probably imagine my reaction upon finding out that the first annual Southern Artisan Cheese Festival will be held in Music City this year. #$@!&*%!!!! I MUST GO!!!!
  The South has so much more to offer the culinary world than mayonnaise laden "salads" and sweet tea, and this is the perfect opportunity to come see for yourself. If you happen to be in the area on September 30th, make it a point to come check out what Southern cheese makers are crafting. Dairies such as Sequatchie Cove Creamery, Locust Grove Farm, and Looking Glass Creamery will be there, just to name a few. And what goes better with artisan cheese than honey from Savannah Bee Company, Lusty Monk Mustard, or Olli Salumeria meats? Plenty of specialty food vendors will be there, along with craft beers and wines to wash it all down.
  The whole shebang is being put on by Nashville's own Kathleen Cotter, who runs The Bloomy Rind, an American artisan cheese stand. The event will be on September 30th from 6pm to 9pm at the Nashville Farmers' Market on Rosa Parks Blvd. Come support the people that are creating true Southern Originals and putting the South on the culinary map!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Sweet Victory

Glowing Melon
An almost glowing Amish Moon & Stars Watermelon

One of two survivors of the Great Watermelon Massacre of '11, courtesy of the laying flock.

Summer Watermelon

Sweet Victory.