Tomme Crayeuse, the chalky delight from Savoie, is an intriguing marvel of the cheese world. This semi-soft, French cheese holds a unique allure with its distinctive, mottled rind and creamy, supple interior.
Aged in humid caves, it develops an earthy, slightly tangy flavor that is as enigmatic as the mountainous terrain of its origin. Known for its chalky center, hence the name ‘Crayeuse’, this cheese unfolds a complex palette of flavors, making it a coveted gem amongst cheese enthusiasts.
Quick Facts About Tomme Crayeuse
|Country of Origin||France|
|Milk Type||Cow’s Milk|
|Ageing Time||1-2 Months|
|Pairings||Fruity Red Wines, Dark Beers|
|Serving Suggestions||On a cheese board, in sandwiches|
|Shelf Life||Up to 6 weeks (refrigerated)|
|Nutritional Benefits||High in protein, calcium|
|Unique Feature||Chalky center that becomes creamier towards the rind|
What is Tomme Crayeuse?
Tomme Crayeuse, a gem from the French mountains of Savoy, is a cheese that captivates with its unique character. Its name, which translates to ‘chalky’, is a nod to its distinct texture – a chalky center that gradually becomes creamier as it nears the rind.
This delightful cheese was brought to life in 1995 by the affineur Max Schmidhauser, adding a relatively recent creation to the rich tapestry of French cheeses. Made from either pasteurized or raw cow’s milk, Tomme Crayeuse is left to age in caves, allowing its flavors to develop and mature.
The result is a cheese that is chalky yet creamy, earthy yet buttery. The term ‘Tomme’ refers to a type of natural rind wheel that’s small, round, and flat, often possessing a nutty and velvety quality. Tomme Crayeuse certainly lives up to this, offering a nutty flavor profile with faint notes of toast and straw.
In a modern twist on Tomme de Savoie, Tomme Crayeuse starts with a chalky texture that turns creamy and runny over time. Weighing between 3 1/2 and 4 pounds, this cheese from France’s Savoie region has been known to challenge old favorites and win, thanks to its captivating flavor and texture. Whether served on a cheese board, paired with a fruity red wine, or savored by itself, Tomme Crayeuse offers a taste of French tradition that is sure to delight.
What Does Tomme Crayeuse Taste Like?
Tomme Crayeuse is renowned for its complex and intriguing flavor profile. The cheese is characterized by a unique blend of nutty and tangy notes. As you first taste it, you’re likely to notice the slight sharpness, which is beautifully balanced by a deep, earthy undertone.
The interior of the cheese, which is chalky as suggested by the name ‘Crayeuse’, offers a slightly milder flavor. As you move towards the rind, the texture becomes creamier, and the flavors become more pronounced. Here, the cheese reveals hints of butter, providing a rich, savory experience.
The natural rind of Tomme Crayeuse adds another layer to the tasting experience. It’s somewhat musty and complements the overall flavor of the cheese perfectly, adding a touch of rustic charm that’s characteristic of French farmhouse cheeses.
Tomme Crayeuse Tasting Notes
- Flavor: Nutty and tangy with a mild earthiness.
- Texture: Semi-soft, creamy towards the rind, chalky at the center.
- Smell: Earthy aroma with a hint of mustiness from the natural rind.
- Appearance: Natural rind with a pale yellow interior.
- Taste: Starts mildly sharp, becoming richer and buttery towards the rind.
- Aftertaste: Lingering notes of cream and nuts, with a slight tanginess.
10 Best Tomme Crayeuse Substitutes
|Tomme de Savoie||A French cheese similar in texture and flavor to Tomme Crayeuse. It has a semi-soft texture and a mildly fruity, nutty flavor.|
|Comté||A hard, cow’s milk cheese from France. It has a complex, nutty flavor that can stand in for Tomme Crayeuse.|
|Gruyère||A Swiss cheese with a slightly grainy texture and a rich, creamy, slightly nutty flavor.|
|Fontina||An Italian cheese known for its earthy flavor and creamy texture, which melts well.|
|Reblochon||A soft washed-rind and smear-ripened French cheese known for its creamy texture and nutty flavor.|
|Brie||A soft cheese with a mild yet deeply savory flavor, similar to the creaminess of Tomme Crayeuse.|
|Camembert||French cheese with a bloomy rind, offering a slight tanginess that echoes the sharpness in Tomme Crayeuse.|
|Taleggio||An Italian cheese with a strong aroma but a relatively mild flavor. Its creamy texture makes it a good substitute.|
|Emmental||A medium-hard Swiss cheese with a light, slightly nutty flavor. It’s less creamy than Tomme Crayeuse but can be used as a substitute in many dishes.|
|Raclette||A semi-hard Swiss cheese known for its excellent melting qualities. It has a creamy texture and a unique, slightly sweet flavor.|
What Pairs Well with Tomme Crayeuse?
Food that goes well with Tomme Crayeuse:
|Breads||Crusty baguettes, rye bread, sourdough, multigrain bread|
|Fruits and Vegetables||Apples, pears, grapes, figs, dates, mixed salad greens, olives|
|Meats||Prosciutto, salami, smoked turkey, roast beef|
|Nuts and Seeds||Almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds|
|Condiments and Spreads||Fig jam, honey, mustard, chutney, olive oil|
|Seafood||Smoked salmon, anchovies, grilled shrimp|
|Desserts||Dark chocolate, fruit tarts, apple pie|
|Others||Pickles, sun-dried tomatoes, capers|
Also read: What Fruit Goes on a Charcuterie Board?
Beverage that goes well with Tomme Crayeuse:
|Wines||Merlot, Pinot Noir, Beaujolais, Chardonnay, Savoie White Wine|
|Beers||Amber Ale, Brown Ale, Dark Lager, Belgian Style Ale, Porter|
|Spirits||Whiskey, Aged Rum, Brandy|
|Non-Alcoholic Beverages||Apple Cider, Pear Juice, Grape Juice, Herbal Tea|
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