Tommes typically hail from France or Switzerland, are made from skim milk and are a natural match with pickles, olives and other Francophile accompaniments. But what should you do when you meet a Minnesota-made tomme crafted from rich whole milk? Pair it with Israeli-style pickles, of course.
Perhaps that’s not an obvious duo, but a buttery tomme – in this case, the Lone Grazer Creamery’s Northeazy – can stand up well to the tangy, vinegary, tumeric-tinted pickles from the must-have cookbook “Zahav.” Call it a bridge between two cultures (pun very much intended) or just the result of a random scavenging of the refrigerator one day, but I call it delicious.
I typically don’t try to post about two of particular creamy’s cheeses in a row, but having been gifted almost an entire wheel of Northeazy after a work event, it would have been a pity to pass on such an opportunity. Unlike Hansom Cab, Northeazy isn’t washed in whiskey or other libations, which allows more leeway in pairing options. The crusty exterior encases a spongy delight of thick, yellowish, slightly sweet paste. It won’t break down and ooze, of course – that would be very un-tomme like – but when the paste bulges under a love squeeze, you’ll know it’s ripe for snacking.
Now for these pickles. Well, there’s not a speck of dill in sight. Instead, you get a crisp, sharp bite, and the mixture of carrots, celery and cauliflower offer a variety of bites ranging from sweet to woodsy to super-crunch. Though they could be the star of any mezze tray, make them the centerpiece of your cheese board for a change, along with fluffy wedges of homemade pita (no flat, sad store-bought discs allowed!) and a bowl of Zahav’s life-changing hummus. Middle East + Midwest = cheese and pickle paradise.