Going right along with the ash ribboned cheese theme, Le Jeune Autize, Tome des Pictons brings the cows in the front door.
- Pays de la Loire, France
- Cow Milk
- Semi-firm Natural Rind
- Smells: Fresh Milk, Floral, Cave
- Texture: Springy, Thick
- Taste: Sediment, Herbal, Yoghurt, Beef Broth
- Finish: Leather, Bitter
In many ways Tome des Pictons and the french goat’s milk cheese Le Jeune Autize are quite similar. Both cheeses are made in the same region of France, aged by the same affineur, two layers of curd married together with thin layer of ash, pasteurized milk, have a beautifully orange natural rind, yet they are also worlds apart. Tome des Pictons is made with cow’s milk instead of goats milk, thus giving the cheese a rather different persona. Something about it spurs my mind to think of strong gritty coffee, smoke arising from a dying campfire, eating cheesy potato gratin in the height of a snow storm…yes, cheese can take me to such places. Anyways, it is crafted in the Pays de le Loire region of France, where it is then aged to perfection by the renown affineur, Rodolphe Le Meunier. Tome des Pictons’ sports the layer of ash that is reminiscent of the iconic cheese, Morbier. The layer of ash, spidering through the paste, was used to protect fresh curd from the elements while the half filled molds awaited their better-half. Due to raw milk and ash regulations here in The States, this cheese shines in place of the raw milk Morbier. With yogurt, broth, and leather notes all encompassed in a smooth springy texture, there is no doubt this beauty is all cow.
Start cooking the rabbit, roast up a few asparagus, set the table for a few comrades, bring out Tome des Pictons with some dried cherries, crisp baguette, pork rillettes…and let the rest of the night fall into place.