Day 2: Tomme de Corse
Today’s cheese is a tomme de Corse, a wheel of sheep’s milk cheese, from Corsica, the ruggedly beautiful island (territorially part of France) which, along with the Basque country in France’s southwestern corner, is known for its fantastic sheep’s milk cheeses.
As my loyal readers know, the first cheese I remember eating in France was Ossau-Iraty, a sheep’s milk cheese from the Basque region. On my visit, Fromagerie Cantin was featuring a rather aged Ossau-Iraty, so I chose the Corsican tomme as I was in the mood for something on the younger side. Both belong to the family of cheeses known as pâte pressée non-cuite (pressed paste, uncooked).
The mottled natural rind gave off a light smell of lanolin, one of the more pleasant aspects of a good sheep’s milk cheese. Its paste was mild, with a hint of salt, citrus, and herbs of the wild maquis, the dense shrubby vegetation on which the sheep feed. Despite the cheese’s Corsican origin, we also tasted the cheese with black cherry jam, a custom associated with Basque sheep’s cheeses. A crusty whole grain baguette provided texture and a bit of sourness.