There’s been a lot of excitement around the launch of our new Flavored Tomas. There’s also been a lot of questions. This is, after all, unlike anything we’ve ever made before. So, we thought it would be fun to have our Executive Chef Jennifer Luttrell serve up a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Flavored Tomas, along with a few tips about how to serve and enjoy our most attitudinal cheeses.
Take it away Jen.
What were some of the memorable flavors that didn’t make the cut?
Fenugreek was memorable. I thought it might work because it can take on a maple flavor, which would typically go with Toma, but it obviously wasn’t a standout. We also tried zaatar, garam masala and some other common herbs – dill, thyme, rosemary, basil. And don’t let Kuba think Togarashi was his idea. It wasn’t. (wink)
Why is Toma such a good cheese for adding flavors?
Mainly because Toma on its own is so delicious! It’s buttery, creamy and super versatile. Adding flavors (in the right ratio) to an already great cheese works. And, since we cook with Toma so often here on the farm, we already knew that it’s a perfect palate for additional flavor. I love that the Flavored Tomas do double-duty in the kitchen, eliminating the need for adding additional herbs and spices.
What’s your approach to balancing the flavors against the taste of Toma?
We wanted to create new flavors of Toma, but the key is finding flavors that complement the buttery notes of the original Toma without covering it up. It’s too good of a cheese to cover up!
What are your favorite quick food pairings and recipes for each of the flavored Tomas?
For TomaTruffle, I love it with a bag of potato chips! TomaProvence is great with olives, specifically on a grilled cheese sandwich. TomaRashi pairs really nicely with salami, but it’s fun to play up the Asian influence, too, by snacking on it with toasted nori and a Japanese beer. All three cheeses maintain the meltability of original Toma, so adding them to Mac & Cheese, polenta or a grilled cheese sandwich yields a delicious result.
What are your favorite beverage pairings for each of the flavored Tomas and why?
TomaTruffle goes great with bubbly. Sparkling wine doesn’t overpower the truffle essence but cuts through the fat of the cheese. TomaProvence works with a Chenin Blanc or a crisp Gin & Tonic. The herbaceous notes in the gin play well off of the herbs. TomaRashi pairs well with a cold Japanese beer or Sake.
What’s your personal flavored Toma and why?
Currently, it is TomaProvence. I love the balance of herbs to Toma in this cheese and just how much flavor you get in one bite. I really love cooking with it, since it melts beautifully and adds an herbal punch. Melting it into perfectly soft scrambled eggs is probably my favorite.