A Mountain Cheese from the Alps
Tomme d'Abondance or Abondance is a mountain cheese from the Haute Savoie region of France in the Rhone-Alps. For centuries, this deep golden cheese has been made in mountain chalets, near the border between France and Switzerland. It is made exclusively from unpasteurized milk produced by the Abondance breed of cattle. Since 1990, the cheese has been enjoying the prestigious AOC designation.
It has a strong smell and an intensely fruity, buttery and hazelnut flavor, with balance of acidity and sweetness. Unearth an aroma of nutty vegetation as you slice the cheese. However, remember the crust, including the gray layer beneath, should be removed before eating. Firm but supple and slightly grainy, the texture of the ivory-yellow pâté is creamy and velvety. The affinage takes at least 100 days, so all the subtle aromas are realized.
Abondance can be eaten straight off, or added to salads or melted in Berthoud.
It pairs well with Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ilir Pristine is the co-owner of The Cheese Boutique in Toronto. cheeseboutique.com