“They have real cows!” a guy in L.A. told me about the Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. in Marin County. He had just been on a trip up the coast and, for some reason, was surprised to find real California cows making real California milk on a real California farm. He was really excited he saw a REAL cow!
I would be, too, especially one that made this luscious, buttery cheese. Toma is a gentle cow’s milk cheese that comes in a large toma-style wheel (toma means “cheese that the farmer made himself” in Italian) with a natural rind. It has a few scattered, irregular holes that taste like pockets of butterfat. The cheese is semi-soft and breaks off or slices with ease. Its aroma of pure butter matches its color and flavor, and true to the lush grasses, its tangy finish tastes of fresh fields. The butter seems to stretch for miles.
Toma is a “melts in your mouth” cheese; it hardly requires chewing. It has a bit of saltiness that would complement sweet fresh fruit. The website (www.pointreyescheese.com) suggests using it in omelets, mac-n-cheese, casseroles, and grilled cheese sandwiches.
All of Point Reyes cheeses are “certified kosher,” according to the website. I contacted the farm about the exact hechsher and packaging of Toma, but I have yet to receive a response. It is likely under the KORC and cholov stam, as is the much celebrated Point Reyes Original Blue. As far as I know, Toma is not sold pre-packaged, so the 10 lb. wheel would need to be purchased and handled in its entirety to keep the kashrus intact.
Elizabeth Bland, The Cheese Mistress