Thursday, November 4, 2010

Day 81

Tomme de Savoie Cheese: I'm sure a lot of you have wondered why I haven't included more cheeses with this project. It's not that I haven't wanted to, and with the seemingly infinite varieties, I could probably devote a blog to trying a new cheese every day for a year. Despite my love for fromage, it's cost-prohibitive for me to try too many. It's hard to buy small portions of most exotic cheeses, and even small pieces in boutique shops can be quite expensive. However, when I noticed this selection at the Ansley Kroger a few days ago, I decided to try. The store has a habit of marking select cheeses down when they become overstocked, so I snagged this piece for $0.99 - a small investment for a brand new taste.
This piece was labeled as "tomme de savoie," and the description said it was a semi-soft, raw milk cow's cheese. I know very little about cheese, and like wine, some of the descriptive terms can be a bit outside of my comprehension. I should start by saying that the rind really didn't smell good, and I had to wash my hands to get the funky odor off my fingers. I know that's typical with some cheeses, and not always an indicator of flavor. Anyway, I cut a small piece from the middle and took a bite. It reminded me of brie, although not quite as strong, with a nice nutty saltiness. Pretty tasty. I'm not sure how to describe it further, but the label says it has an "intense aroma of wet straw and mown grass," with a "fruity fragrance."

Overall, I liked this one. I'll keep on the lookout for more affordable cheese deals, and if anyone knows of any more, please let me know.


  1. Before I left Atlanta, I tried a similar experiment: sample a different a cheese six days a week. I lived less than a mile away from Star Provisions, and they have an amazing cheese shop. I didn't keep a perfect pace, but in a couple of months I got through about 55 different cheeses (since then I'm up to ~90 in my journal).

    They ranged in price from about $20/lb. to $60/lb. (for some of the soft-ripened imported cheese). Some of my favorites that were <$25/lb. were:
    * Yellow Moon Farmhouse
    * Yellow Moon Canebrake Gouda
    * Hawes Wensleydale
    * Cantal
    * Roaring 40's Blue
    * Comte
    * Roth Kase Buttermilk Blue
    * Aged (Vecchio) Piave
    * Valbreso Feta

    The Yellow Moon ones come from a dairy in Alabama and tend to be pretty reasonably priced (and very good even if price wasn't an issue). I could go on and on with others I liked, but I'll leave it there.

    BTW, I've had a variety of Tommes (Alpine cheeses of that style), and I've gotta say I wasn't really big on most of them. As far as styles go, most of them didn't wow me. The Gruyere family of cheeses (Gruyere, Comte, Beaufort, etc.) and other hard/semi-hard Swiss cheeses (Appenzeller, Emmental, Hoch Ybrig) were much more consistently hits for me.

  2. Oh, and FYI, you can buy smaller pieces cut to your request at Star Provisions. That's how I did it. Of course, you can't get much less than maybe 1/4-1/5 lb., depending on the size of the wheel; obviously there is a limit to how thin they can cut a wedge from most of the hard cheeses without shredding them. But that's maybe $5-7 assuming you stay under $25/lb.

  3. Thanks for the info - I will definitely check out Star for some cheese options. With me having a whole year of new things to try every day, I try to keep costs down, but I don't mind splurging every now and then!