Halfway up a mountain during a walk in the Bauges, our guides came across a young cheesemaker standing outside the place where he makes his cheese. He gave us a tour where he described how he made Tome cheese: a local speciality.

The Savoie region has a diet that consumes vast quantities of cheese. A cheese that was presented at almost every meal was le Tome. It came with a number of slight variations (linguistic and cheesic):

La Tome (the generic name)
La Tomme (getting more specific, but not yet tied down to a variety)
La Tomme de Savoie (the whole region's 'emblematic' cheese)
La Tome des Bauges (a local appelation AOC/AOP: Side note: if your "Tome de Bauges" doesn't weigh between 1,1 and 1,4kg, it loses its name and gets downgraded to being a simple Tome.)
La Toma (the Savoyard dialect name for la Tome des Bauges)

A delightfully ad hoc part of our Savouring Savoie tour was a day when we were out walking up a mountain and we came across a young man working with some farm machinery outside the Alpage where he makes Tome cheese. He invited us in and gave us a detailed description of how he makes it.

The delightful Marie-Hélène - one of the leaders of our Savoie tour - at one stage introduced us Anglo-Saxons to a French saying: "Ne coupez pas le nez du fromage!". It means that you should always slice an entire wedge from a circular piece of cheese: if you slice a little bit off an outside edge you are being rude because it means the next person gets more rind. So please remember that advice the next time that you are cutting some cheese.

If I'm present, I'll be watching you.

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Anthony Holmes September 29th, 2011 07:20:33 AM

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