Smooth, creamy, and tangy, Mak’Tomi by Makabi is a French cheese made in the tradition of a southern Tome Fraîche or Tome de Laguiole. This semi-soft beauty is butter-yellow on the inside with a light dusting of white on the outside, which creates a thin and delicate rind. (The label says inedible, but I beg to differ.) It is a mild, lactic cheese with a hint of hazelnuts and would make a great party favor; it has enough character to be interesting to cheese lovers of all levels without being overwhelming to anyone.
Its short aging period and the absence of affinage curing give it a high level of acidity and a pleasant sour edge that reminds me of buttermilk.
It is a melts-in-your-mouth cheese that is an even better melter when cooked. Traditionally, this type of cheese is one of the principal ingredients in aligot (pureed “mashed” potatoes with cheese, crème fraîche, milk, butter, and garlic or onions.
My approximation, not pureed, is hand-whipped potatoes with Mak’Tomi cheese, Quark crème fraîche-like kosher cheese, whole milk, Makabi Beurre de Normandie unsalted butter, green onions, and salt and pepper to taste). The cheese becomes soft and stringy when heated, though not as stringy as a mozzarella.
Mak’Tomi also works well in other warm, cozy French dishes such as la patranque (a casserole with bread cubes, onions, and cheese).
Its slightly sour flavor and lively acidity—and its excellent melting properties—have extended its usage to gratins, vegetable tartes, pizzas, panini, and sweetened tartes. It also finds a place on a cheese platter or cubed for a mixed salad.
Here is a recipe in English for la patranque, from Edible Jersey:
And here is a recipe for aligot pureed potatoes with cheese and onions:
Makabi gourmet French cheese and dairy products are distributed by ELBY Corp. Mehadrin kosher, cholov yisroel, and kosher l’Pesach.
The Makabi/Elby booth was one of my favorites at Kosherfest 2015!
Elizabeth Bland, The Cheese Mistress