Song 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 tome, 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. The yse of whole Juniper berries in cooking and cheeses is almost exclusively found in the Alpine regions of Europe. We have found that the astringency of the berry is most noted when biting into a fruit. The curd is delicately scented with cedar.
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. Song is a cheese that is best used on a cheese board– the whole berries do not lend to use in recipes as well as some of our other Tomas.
Song is aged from 90 to over 180 days, depending on the cultures used. The younger cheese will be mild and creamy, with a sharp contrast between the juniper and the bland curd. It grows into a more melded flavor with age. This cheese may be purchased as a whole wheel, weighing 3 to 4 lbs. or as a part wheel wedge. To Order go to the Buy Cheese page
Sue lives next to Song Mountain in Tully, NY. We so strongly associate the juniper berries and the cedar trees on which they grow with mountains and skiing–Song was a natural choice.