The raw milk Toma is an Alp-style cheese made in Piermont, New Hampshire, on the rim of the Connecticut River. The Robie family has farmed this site since 1870, and its sixth generation currently maintains a herd of Holstein-Friesans, Jerseys, and Normande cattle, producing milk, cheeses, and meats from the farmstead.
Robie Farm Toma’s rind is buffy blond, about one millimeter thick with a texture like fine sandpaper. The scent is earthy, redolent of dusky mushrooms from cave-aging, and the cheese’s paste is waxy yellow and pricked with propionic holes.
The texture on the tongue is smooth at first, then bursts into an umami-salt explosion. The heavy salting breaks the form of Alpage cheeses, which were traditionally lower in salt to conserve resources. But the richness and nutty-savoriness of the cheese counterbalance the briny effect.
Pairing Wine and Other Foods with Robie Farm Toma
This cheese needs a fruity wine with low to medium acidity. Try Beaujolais (Cru or Village), Dolcetto, Barbera, or Pinot Noir. Choose food pairings that off-set the salt and allow the subtle savoriness to shine: fruit spreads or chutneys, juicy stone and pome fruits, fresh or blanched vegetables, or simple whole-grain breads.
Robie Farm Toma
Robie Farm, Piermont, New Hampshire