Cider Soaked Collaboration

November 4, 2020

We've been waiting for this, and it's as delicious (and more beautiful) than anticipated!

Cider-Soaked Tomme from Mystery Bay Farm!

Early this Spring, a bright spot of joy boosted our spirits when Mystery Bay Farm introduced their first-ever hard cheese. It was a delightful young Tomme, and we fell in love. In fact, together we ate so much of it that Rachael had to put it back on the shelf - or their would have been no young Tomme to become aged Tomme. So, regretfully, we said "until we meet again," and throughout the summer happily consumed Mystery Bay Chevre on toast with tomatoes and basil and let the magic (art and science) of aging cheese do its work.

We knew that the delicious days of Tomme would come again. What we didn't know was that cheese artisan and farmer Rachael was working on a beautiful surprise- she soaked the wheels of Tomme in Finnriver's Black Currant Cider! This gorgeous aged Tomme is all of it's younger Springtime self, now more richly developed and with a nice crumble. It may not melt as well, but it nibbles even better.

We are so pleased to bring you this wonderful collaboration of farm grown and fermented goodness. It's a joy when the civil discourse of varied disciplines unite to create something that none of us could do alone. Along with the lovely product, we want to share the creator's reflections on why this cheese has been such an essential component of their farm's endurance.

From Rachael:

When unwrapping this cheese we are reminded of the beautiful trials of Spring, and possibly finding a hidden delight out off all that chaos! Last spring when the pandemic hit we were in our full flood of milk.  Hearing stories of spilled milk all over the country, I was determined (both economically and morally) to use every ounce of our milk.  As sales of our regular products meandered through the unknown pandemic waters, I plunged deep into the world of true milk preservation: hard cheese.

Turning highly perishable milk into a solid, barely perishable wheel of cheese is the type of magical science that I find absolutely incredible (go humans!). It has always been difficult on this small farm to set aside the milk, time and mental energy necessary to create a new cheese.  Our 'R &D' has consisted of a few meager batches a season at best.  Until this year.

This year we made almost 100 wheels of what we call Tomme.  In the spirit of local collaboration, and diversification...we soaked some of the cheese in Finnriver's Black Currant Cider.  It looks spectacular and tastes pretty amazing. 

Think:

Begin with sweet springtime goat's milk

Enhanced with cultures, attention and time 

Finish with a subtle sweetness of black currant.

What does it taste like? Re-read "What's A Tomme?", the May 20 post containing the Spring-time ravings of a freshly-made Tomme fanatic, and imagine all the delicious goodness described there, now enhanced and deepened by the loving hand of time and a drop of cider. Superb.

Charlotte Frederickson

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