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Tomme de Savoie Fermier

Region: Savoie/Haut-Savoie, France

Milk: cows

Pasteurisation: raw

Vegetarian: no (traditional rennet)

Quite simply meaning 'Cheese of the Savoy', this tomme comes from the beautiful alpine region of the same name. These small, usually fairly young cheeses have their history in the farmhouse kitchens where, having removed the cream from the milk for butter making, the cheesemaker of the house would use the resulting skimmed milk to produce small, pressed cheeses.

Today, most cheesemakers will add at least some whole milk, some even opting out of skimmed milk altogether. Ripened for just a few months, the cheeses have a beautifully supple, yielding texture beneath a fairly thick rind of a mottled grey. The flavours are simple and clean, with sweet, grassy notes from spring and summer production being replaced with a more nutty, hay-like character once the cattle are down in the valley for the colder months. The rind has earthy, mushroomy and sometimes slightly cabbagey notes. these are balanced well by the richer flavours of the paste.

Brilliant on a cheeseboard with a fruity pickle, some roasted nuts and seedy crackers.

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