World Cheese Encyclopaedia - Each Sunday learn all about a cheese in season.
This week Tomino from Italy.
Country: Italy 🇮🇹
Made from: Cow’s milk
Taste: Sweet and buttery with mild mushroom notes
Aging: up to 1 month
Tomino is a small Italian cheese, hailing from the Langhe, a Piedmont agricultural region. Tomino Langherino is an Italian cheese, and it belongs to the Robiola family. The Langherino name indicates the geographical area of origin: the Langhe, the agricultural region of the Sothern Piedmont, the kingdom of Piedmont's red wines (Barolo, Barbaresco, Barbera), the homeland of the valuable white truffles, is also the place of origin of Tomino cheese.
It's a DOP (Denomination of Protected Origin) cheese. In other words production is highly controlled, and the Piedmont region guarantees adherence to strict, traditional methods of production.
It is made from cow’s milk, if necessary with oat’s and/or ovine milk, fat or half fat, with soft dough. Little and round, with a diameter of 5-10 cm; 1-3 cm high. A mould weighs 80 to 200 grams. The fresh moulds have no rind, the seasoned ones have a very pale yellow one. 2-3 days after making it, the dough is white and soft. Then it becomes more compact and pale yellow.
Production is simple, though it can change a lot depending on the zone and the kind of Tomino that is produced. The milk is warmed up to 37-38°C and mixed with rennet. Once it’s coagulated, it is roughly broken, in pieces as big as nuts. The mix is then put in special moulds and salted. The fresh Tominos can be eaten after 2 or 3 days, but the seasoning can last up to a month.
According to Delforno, this cheese has never been that much considered by Italian cheese-testers, though its production has always been relevant, like its quality. Its name comes from the french “Tomme” or “Tome”, like the one of the Toma, or from the piemontese “Tuma”.
How to enjoy it
Tomino cheese looks like a tiny Brie cheese and when pan seared it melts in the middle and has a lovely crunchy, golden brown exterior.
The most classical recipe is grilled Tomino cheese. Heat up a pan or a grill and cook the Tomino for few minutes on both sides. The surface will take on a golden color and the inside paste will start to melt. If you want to add further flavor, wrap the Tomino in a speck slice. It can also be served as an appetizer - pan seared, drizzled with honey and topped with walnuts. Or with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and arugula. Braised radicchio with pan seared Tomino cheese (radicchio brasato con tomino appena sfuso, saltato in padella) is a perfect meal served with a nice crusty bread.
Pair it with fruity white wines and local wines such as Roero Arneis, Langhe Favorita, Langhe Chardonnay, Langhe Freisa, also sparkling.
Sources: sensibus.com, Langhe.net, flavorofitalyblog