La Clarine Sierra Mountain Tomme
La Clarine winery, farm, and cheese company first wins you over with its sweet husband and wife, small-production, all-natural approach story. Then, after a taste of their Sierra Mountain Tomme, the glory of the cheese itself hits and you consider calling to see if they need an intern.
Earthy, tangy and vibrant, La Clarine’s Tomme speaks to the virtues of biodynamics, living in the mountains, and raw-milk. A semi-hard cheese with a grey mold-dusted exterior, this goat's milk number exhibits a complexity that is entirely its own. Slightly salty and blessed with flavors of fruity green olives, grass, herbs and pepper, this cheese flips on its head the idea that goat cheese is sour, funky, and tastes like it came from a barnyard.
Instead, La Clarine's Tomme tastes like it came from a goat's heaven, full of fuzzy kids prancing about day and mother's grazing on whatever their little herbal and thistle-inspired hearts desire. Except tin cans.
Pair with something nutty and slightly sweet, like the Spanish fig cake pictured above, Medjool dates, or crispy apples. Alternatively, grate over a bowl of pasta cooked al-dente, drizzled with extra virgin olive oil, and sprinkled with salt and lots of freshly ground pepper.
Try a slice of La Clarine with a bright, light, and high-acidity red wine that will highlight the fresh, grassy flavors in the cheese, like Edmunds St. John Bone-Jolly Gamay or the Domaine de Collette Regnie Beaujoulais.