Cheese: Tome de Chalosse
Who: Jean d’Alos, affineur
Where: Bordeaux, France
Milk Type: cow, pasteurized
Shape: 5.5lb wheel
Flavor: butter, cashews, transparently rich and creamy like the milk source
For many of my “cheese friends”, tomme/tome/toma-style cheeses are their favorites; easy to understand: they’re dense and smooth, simple flavors of butter, nuts… they’re a “comfort food” type of cheese. Cooks well, consistently rewarding.
Tome de Chalosse, as aged by Bordeaux’s premiere affineur, Jean d’Alos, is supreme example. Though washed rind, it’s never stinky, never salty, never bland. Simple in appearance, simple yet deep in its flavor profile. It’s a pressed cheese like an Alpine style but is not a cooked curd cheese.
And tome is a beverage-friendly cheese. Obviously, the reds of Bordeaux are heavenly with most tome. California cabs and cab francs done in a more old-world style are also often excellent. Think Andrew Will’s wines like his delicious Champoux vineyard reds.
You can readily go white as well. An aromatic gewurtztraminer or pinot blanc from the Alsace, for example.
Beers too! Pictured to the right paired with an oatmeal stout… this one from Lake Superior brewing Company a bit too hoppy perhaps. Something a little more creamy and a with some sweetness would be a winner. An unfiltered wheat can also do wonders with a tome.