Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Tomme de Linden Dale

This month, I wrote about Tomme de Linden Dale for my cheese column in Grid. Seeing this photo reminds me that I need to hustle down to the Rittenhouse Farmers’ Market to pick up another wheel. Cheesemaker Andrew Mellinger only sells his goat Tomme on Saturdays, and he’s got a batch of raw goat Tomme that should be available about now.

This is such a lovely cheese – it has the most divine smell, like yeast and white grapes. The taste reminds me a little bit of Ossau Iraty, a Spanish sheep cheese with the same dense paste and olivey, nutty notes. Tomme de Linden Dale is fruitier, though, which makes it a beautiful cheese for serving alongside Asian pears.

I happen to love the hand-drawn label on this cheese – a wise, old goat wearing a monocle. I’m guessing it was sketched by one of Mellinger’s six children. They’re all involved in the family goat farm in Ronks, PA – the same farm where Mellinger grew up. Cheese doesn’t get any more farmstead than this.

Linden Dale Farm is a small operation. No website. No retail outlets. If you come across a wheel at a market around Pennsylvania, nab one. It’s an undiscovered beauty, and it keeps well. I just finished the last bite this week, and I bought this wheel back in August.

If you want to check out other farmstead goat Tommes, consider Elk Mountain or Twig Farm Tomme. Both are aged goat cheeses with natural rinds. Rustic. Fabulous. 

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