Kidders is a semi-hard, aged whole, 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 tomme, Toma comes in variety of types. Every type is usually named after the region and the place where it is made. Traditionally, the cheese should be aged for at least three months and possess a soft, elastic consistency and a light yellow, mold-marked crust. 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. We have taken a page from the recipe book of more southern cheese makes and added whole, tellicherry peppercorn to the curd of our traditional Toma. The result is a warmth and interesting crunch. Additionally, Tumino Cheese Company makes Kidders using Jersey cow milk. The cheese resulting from the higher fat, higher protein milk has a creamy interior and buttery flavor somewhat like a firm brie–the pepper provides an interesting contrast to the creaminess.
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. The whole spices make it more desirable as a cooking cheese.
Kidders is aged from 30 to 90 days, 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 3 to 4 lbs. or as a part wheel wedge. To order this cheese go to the Kidders or Kidders-Jersey Page in the Buy Cheese Section
Kidders Landing was the port on the western side of Cayuga Lake for the Busy Bee Ferry operated by Captain James Quick between the 1800-1900s. Originally powered by wind and horse, the ferry was a coal powered steam engine in its later years. The peppercorns of our Kidders cheese remind us of the black coal. The old steamboat is sunk just off Kidder’s Point in front of the Busy Bee Store and can be seen when the lake is clear.