Our Newest Stinky Cheese

Squares of our Belvedere Tomme after a few months in the cave

At last summer’s farmers markets we premiered our newest cheese – Belvedere Tomme. This French-style cheese is a washed rind, “stinky” cheese made from whole raw milk from our farm’s six “girls” – our beautiful (and sometimes stinky in their own right) Brown Swiss cows.

The flavor is hearty with a tangy aftertaste. At times, I think I detect a hint of bacon flavor. And like all our cheeses (thanks to the “girls”) it is very creamy.

We make Belvedere in 8-pound squares. The squares are first washed with b. linens. This culture is responsible for the “stink” but also a very distinctive flavor, which many people (including me) love. B. linens is also responsible for the orange color, typical of washed-rind cheeses, which include Munster and Tallegio. Once the b. linens is established, we finish the Belvedere by washing it in a local apple cider from Zollingers Orchard.

Fresh from the brine tank, these need to age before they are “stinky.”

Belvedere is made using a vegetable rennet, so vegetarians can enjoy its robust flavor. Unlike some tommes, Belvedere is not pressed.

Pete and I named the tomme in honor of my father, Glen Hines, who passed away December 14, 2008. Dad was a 10th Mountain Division ski trooper in World War II. He frequently told the story that he “won” the war in Italy when he and his fellow ski troopers took Mount Belvedere.

I have to admit, Dad may not have liked the strong flavor of his namesake cheese, but I think he would appreciate the gesture.

Descendants of 10th Mountain Division ski troopers have established a foundation to keep the memories alive. The website includes old photos and a letter Dad wrote to his parents in May 1945. — jh

Ah, the final result … we like it, how about you?

About Pete

My wife and I own and operate Rockhill Creamery, a farmstead cheese business in the beautiful Cache Valley of Northern Utah. We have two children, both married and living in Salt Lake City. We were both newspaper people in our former lives, but decided to head down the agriculture path about 12 years ago.
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4 Responses to Our Newest Stinky Cheese

  1. Sage says:

    I love it!!! Seriously, I can’t get enough of this cheese! And I too think grandpa would love the gesture. :)

  2. Tom says:

    Wild Grape in SLC had this cheese on their cheese plate, which I ordered yesterday, and it is very good indeed. It reminded me of the cheeses I bought years ago from farmhouse stands in the Alps and in the Auvergne. Your cheese pleased me more that the imported cheeses in this style that I have bought here in the States.

  3. Pete says:

    Thanks so much Tom. We appreciate your kind words. I just made another batch of Belvedere this last week so that we’ll have plenty to sell at this summer’s markets. If you get a chance, swing by and say hi at the Downtown Salt Lake Farmers Market.

  4. Arianne says:

    After a visit to a lovely dairy farm today, I decided to look up one of the cheeses I sampled that I was not familiar with. Low and behold, what was the second thing that came up on google when I searched for Belvdere Tomme? Rock Hill Creamery, the same farm I just visited! Hahaha, how funny! Thanks so much, Pete and Jen, for letting me come and spend time with your “girls,” help turn the cheeses, learn so much about your farm and business, and–best of all–taste the delicious cheeses you make there. I’m still savoring the taste of that wonderful 1 year old gruyere, hours later. I’m quite sure I will dream of cheese wheels tonight.

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