Hippo Flambe: Savoring Point Reyes Tomme
I was shopping to prepare for hurricane Irene. I bought staple items like bacon and butter, as well as flour and other ingredients to make bread. The Point Reyes Tomme that arrived that day fit perfectly into my hurricane preparations. The letter that was enclosed said to savor it with a fine scotch or Tawny Port which suddenly made squirreling it all away impossible. So we set it out to warm up and poured the port.
With my first taste I realized I should have paid more attention to the other recommendations for enjoying my sample. It said, “Point Reyes Tomme isn’t for sale...savor it...hide it from your room mates.” I should have hidden my prize cheese sample from my husband! After all he is just like a room mate, only with more of a commitment. It did pair well with both ports we had in the house. Happily we were both full from dinner and there was still plenty to eat another day. I can’t tell you what else it pairs well with, not even crackers, because I have been enjoying it by the thin slice, appreciating its subtle creaminess and smooth flavor.
Since Irene came through I have been slowly savoring my remaining Tomme as I work out ideas to help my local farmers. Burlington, Vermont was mostly spared the destruction caused by flood waters that occurred elsewhere in the state. However 350 acres of farmland in Burlington’s Intervale were all flooded, the food growing in the fields now inedible. September and October are the black Friday of farming, with all the crops being harvested and sold. This season the farmers have had all the work and expense but most of their harvest has to be ploughed under.
I am working on a plan for a cookbook to help the farmers. The recipes will be coming from the farmers themselves, the restaurants that buy their produce, local cookbook authors, food writers and bloggers. The Tomme has been a welcome treat to savor as I contact people about recipes and think through the feasibility of my plans. I am still looking for support on my project, you can find more details on my blog, Hippo Flambé.
Photo courtesy of Thomas Case of Arethusa Farm Vermont