Just in time for spring, I arrived in Berlin! As is with any proper lady, my first order of business after dragging my suitcases through the city was to empty them of cheese. I had packed Gruyère and Tomme des Mayens, both Swiss cheeses, from Switzerland, and by this point, I was worried the pungent washed-rind Tomme des Mayens was going to invade all my clothes. I kept it in the refrigerator for a couple more days after that, when I could barely stand to open that little fridge door any more. Its odor was calling me, more like crying out in its death throes. Good thing I was alone at this point, and no other noses could be offended!
I couldn’t find any information on Tomme des Mayens per se, but I do believe it is related to the Raclette du Valais, an AOC cheese much like the French Raclette.
It looked so innocent, just a small slice of orange-rinded, smooth buttery cheese. But that smell! Dear Lord. I thought I might be doomed to smell like it forever, after keeping it in my suitcase for a day. Its bark was much worse than its bite, though. The taste was surprisingly mild, well-rounded and buttery, while the rind gave the cheese a sort of meatiness. It was gorgeous on its own, but with my host coming home in just a few days, there was no way I could keep it with that smell!
Luckily, I happened to be making stuffed tomatoes and peppers. On top went the Tomme des Mayens! Oh my! This cheese was MEANT to be used for cooking. The delicious aroma that permeated the apartment as my tomatoes and peppers baked was heavenly. And the taste! It went from mild and buttery when uncooked to rich, creamy, and slightly fruity out of the oven. Success! And never underestimate the joys of the oven!