Captain Ogden is a hard, aged part-skim, cows’ milk cheese made in the style of the Italian Toma; one of the most famous Italian cheeses. Its name is derived from the process of cheese making. ‘Toma’ actually means ‘cheese made by the farmer’ It is produced primarily in Aosta Valleys and Piedmont regions of Northern Italy. Closely related to the French tome, Toma comes in variety of types. Every type is usually named after the region and the place where it is made. This cheese, with its lower fat content is meant to age for six months or more. Much paler and harder than our younger toma, Old Grey Mare, the color of the interior is typically pale yellow to ivory and contains tiny holes as a result of the fermentation process. The taste is fairly salty becoming ‘piccante’ as the months pass. The curd is drier, almost flaky. This cheese can be grated.
History: Toma dates back to Roman times, but did not become identified by its name until the 11th century. The name appears to have come from the old French word “tumer,” meaning to fall or to turn. Some sources indicate that Toma means the cheese is a product of several herds from the same region and implies it is made by a cheese making specialist rather than a farmer with a surplus of milk who might not be adept at cheese making. Toma is a perfect table cheese but can also be used for cooking.
Captain Ogden is aged 180 days and more, depending on the cultures used. The younger cheese will be mild and creamy, it grows in piquancy as it ages. This cheese may be purchased as a whole wheel, weighing 4 to 5 lbs. or as a part wheel wedge. To order, go to Buy Cheese
Captain Ogden was one of the first settlers and considered the first businessman in what is now King Ferry. Owner of the first hotel, generations of “Captain” Ogdens were active farmers and businessmen in Cayuga County. We liked the association of a serious name with our sharpest, longest aged cheese.