Cheese of the Week: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese TomaRashi
Feisty, nutty, bold and buttery.
Image source: Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company via Facebook.
This is one flavorful cheese! To make TomaRashi, Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company starts with their creamy and buttery Toma cheese and adds a Japanese spice blend called Shichimi Togarashi. This spice blend contains nori, toasted sesame, poppy and hemp seeds, chili flakes and ginger and adds gentle heat and big umami flavor to the buttery cheese. TomaRashi has a semi-firm texture with a waxed rind. Its pale yellow interior has visible flecks of the Shichimi Togarashi. Spicy on the palate but mellowed out by the buttery creaminess of the Toma.
Classic Point Reyes Toma is a deliciously creamy combination of a young Gouda and Havarti. This versatile cheese's mild flavor makes it the perfect base for a variety of additions, thus three distinctly different new flavored versions of Toma were born in late 2019: TomaTruffle (classic Toma studded with Italian black truffles), TomaProvence (Toma with Herbes de Provence) and of course TomaRashi.
Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Co. was founded in 2000 by Bob Giacomini and his four daughters, Karen, Diana, Jill and Lynn. Bob and his wife purchased a dairy farm on Tomales Bay in Northern California in 1959. Slowly and surely, Bob collected a heard of over 500 Holstein cows and became known for producing very fresh, high quality milk. Eventually, Bob's four daughters took over the dairy and began converting the business into a cheesemaking facility. In 2000, the first wheels of Original Blue were crafted, thus marking the beginning of Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company. Classic Toma was Point Reyes Farmstead Cheese Company's second cheese to be released.
Today, the company is still family-run. They have two cheesemaking facilities in northern California: one in Point Reyes Station and the other in Petaluma. The milk is collected from the farm in Point Reyes Station, just steps from the creamery. TomaRashi, as well as the company's other pasteurized cheeses, is produced at the Petaluma facility. The milk used to make TomaRashi is obtained from neighboring farms who share the same high-standards for fresh, quality milk.
TomaRashi is great for any recipe that could use a bit of spice. Melt it into an omelet, make a fiery Baked TomaRashi and Corn Dip, or simply wrap it in a piece of seaweed for a quick bite. This mildly spicy cheese is sure to warm you up and win over hearts when featured on an autumn or winter cheese board. TomaRashi is best when paired with gin & tonics, light pilsners, or Japanese-style beers. 🥂