Tomme de Grosse Île

Region: Chaudière-Appalaches region, Quebec
Milk: Non-pasteurized cow’s milk
Texture: Semi-firm cheese, natural rind

Made with milk from Brown Swiss cows partly fed with marsh hay, Tomme de Grosse-Île is a non-pasteurized semi-soft cheese. This surface-ripened cheese lasts longer than a soft cheese. Its brushed rind and its uniform texture with small cavities bring a woodsy flavour with a slightly acidulous and fruity taste.

Tomme de Grosse Île is named to honour the history of Grosse Île, another of the 21 islands that make up the Île-aux-Grues archipelago. The original logo shows Grosse-Île and its well-known Celtic cross with the archipelago of Île-aux-Grues as a background. Moreover, colours surrounding the picture evoke the Irish flag: green represents Irish Catholics; orange refers to English Protestants; and white symbolizes the hope for peace between both.

The brushed rind has the tactile character of a tree bark, with the top and bottom of the wheel evenly ridged. The interior reveals rich gold paste made from the milk of Brown Swiss cows who eat naturally grown hay from the marshes on the island.

Tomme de Grosse Île travels either by boat or by air to reach mainland Quebec from its island home. Contained in its rough, warm brown rind, the cheese has a rugged appearance and looks ready to weather any perilous journey.

The brushed rind has the tactile character of a tree bark, with the top and bottom of the wheel evenly ridged. The interior reveals rich gold paste made from the milk of Brown Swiss cows who eat naturally grown hay from the marshes on the island.The texture of the cheese is open, with small eyes scattered throughout. The aroma is full, sweet and reminiscent of hay. Aged three to four months, the cheese’s flavours are complex, buttery and salty but remain fresh with a bite of acidity. It needs no other companion than some fresh bread and perhaps a pint of beer.