While this was supposed to be a blog about cycling and cheese, my laziness has resulted in a lot of photos of cheese without a lot of writing. And of course one tends to forget the subtleties of each individual cheese a few days after eating and so any post-hoc blogging would probably be limited to “this cheese was great”. A description my sister would turn her nose up at.
As a result, I will start again with the most recent cheeses and will simply have to repurchase all other cheeses in order to post. A tough job but someone has to do it.
I am starting with the sheep’s milk cheese mostly because it is what I purchased at the market today. I’m not sure why I went with the Tomme de Brebis today. I’ve had it once before and found it to be pretty unexciting. But last week’s Tomette de Brebis (confusing, I know), was just so deliciously, subtly sheepy without wandering into the pecorino range of bitterness, that I was tempted to give the regular tomme another chance.
I am sorry to say that it is just as I remembered. A little bland. But for those who are less enamoured of sheep’s milk – or a little scared of the flavour – it’s a great place to start. The texture is smooth, unlike the cow’s or goat’s milk tommes, and it has a rather delicate flavour. Like other tommes, feel free to skip the preservative white rind. In its favour, I will say it went pretty well with the white nectarines I also picked up at the market this morning.
However, it does not – in my opinion – match the far more exciting Tomette de Brebis. The tomette, sold as a long block rather than the round tomme, is also towards the more delicate end of the flavour spectrum when it comes to French cheese. But it has more of a characteristically sheepy taste, a slightly less smooth texture, and just enough bitterness to make it exciting. I added to to some avocado on toast on a whim (and a million Frenchmen gasp) and it was delicious. It also complimented some lightly salted and peppered tomatoes.
Sometimes it feels sacrilegious to take the cheese away from its pure setting but while I would agree melting it or adding it to a pizza, say, would be a waste, enjoying a hard cheese with fresh fruit is delicious. Try it.
I have sadly not taken a picture of my Tomette de Brebis on avocado toast but I will be sure to rectify the situation (and update this post, accordingly) after the Friday market.
The moral of this cheese-tasting/post was really just to look at two seemingly similar cheeses and note that one is not always like the other. Also, I’ve always wondered, how do you milk a sheep? I’ve never even been close enough to a sheep to see a teet! I’m sure I could google the answer but I’m not sure I’d like what else I find…
Until the next cheese post – enjoy!!