As much as I adore and devour quite a few more modern cheeses, there is just something awe-inspiring about European cheeses that have been made the same way for almost an entire millennium. Abbaye de Tamie is just such a cheese- a raw cow’s milk cheese made by Trappist monks at the Abbaye of Tamie in Savoie, France. The Abbaye was founded in 1131, and the cheese recipe is believed to be as old as the monastery itself.
This raw milk wash-rind cheese is like a cousin of the famed French cheese, Reblochon. It has an attractive pale orange rind with a straw-yellow paste. Abbaye de Tamie is a friendly washed-rind, making it a great introductory cheese for the cheese novice. It’s semi-soft texture is yielding and supple, with pleasant notes of hay and cream- there is a certain balanced perfection to this cheese that must come only with centuries and centuries of cheesemaking experience.
For me this cheese is especially exciting because it makes for an excellent partner with many different types of beer. Pale ales, Belgian beers, lagers- Abbaye de Tamie really shines next to a whole range of brews. And the creamy yet structured texture of the cheese is well-matched by the effervescence in so many beers. Of course, it will play well with many wines, too! And as if it couldn’t get any better, Abbaye de Tamie works well in many classic and modern recipes, a few examples of which we will post later in the month. So be sure to ask for some Tamie this month, we are offering this cheese at the nonsensical price of $15/lb (usually $18/lb).