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?