We have the marvelous Abbaye de Tamié in our caves now. This lightly pressed cow milk cheese is produced at the eponymous abbey in the French Alps. The abbey has helped sustain itself with the production of this marvelous cheese since its founding in the year 1132. The cheese has been produced pretty much the same away all along, thankfully.
If there ever was a cheese that screamed “beer” this is the one. Part of its success in pairing with all kinds of beers is its balanced flavor. It does not rely on the salt to make it work. Another part of the success of the pairing of beers with this cheese is that the soft texture of the cheese likes the beer’s bubbles. This cheese can be a little challenging for most wines, even though it is not a strong cheese. I have tasted the Abbaye de Tamié with several different styles of beers and it invariably works.
The cheese is produced with unpasteurized milk,which happens to give it an extended shelf life, as well as a full aroma and flavor. A generous dose of umami rounds out its flavor profile while the aroma takes you to one of the most beautiful places on earth – the Alps. You could easily consider having this cheese on its own. It has an eggy flavor; it reminds me of scrambled eggs, with a touch of salt and no pepper, cooked in butter.
Speaking of eggs, the Abbaye de Tamié has about twice the amount of protein in weight as an egg, and less fat, even before the egg is cooked in oil or butter!
If you would rather not be reminded of eggs then try this amazing cheese with the breakfast of champions – beer. You will get a great start to your day. A piece of fruit on the side is optional; the beer should deliver enough fruit flavor on its own. Some fresh crusty baguette will suffice. Along with the umami, the Abbaye de Tamié (being a youngish unpasteurized cheese produced from milk of animals who have a wide diversity of plant species in their diets) also delivers a lot of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) that beneficial weight-reducing and cancer-fighting fatty acid.
We don’t have the Abbaye de Tamié available all the time; the production is limited. It is here now though, and those that come in should be in great form through to the end of the year. So get them while you can.
Max McCalman of Artisanal Premium Cheese