Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Taste of the Week. Boyne Valley Bán.

Taste of the Week. 

Boyne Valley Bán (Tomme Style) Cheese

These little holes are also seen in the French Tomme

Tomme? You may well ask. Tomme is an old French name for cheese and you'll find lots of it in Eastern France in hilly and mountainy areas. It has a mild creamy flavour that is pleasant and lasts in the mouth. 

When we, and the kids, used to visit France on holidays, Tomme (usually de Savoie) was always on the shopping list. We liked it and importantly so too did the kids. The Lost Valley Dairy and Creamery near Inchigheela make a semi hard cheese in a Tomme style and it is excellent. Theirs and all the French ones that we ate are made from cow milk.

When I spotted this Boyne Valley Tomme on sale in On The Pig's Back in the English Market, I had no hesitation in buying a wedge. Then when we unwrapped it at home, we realised that it was a paler colour than the French and soon found the reason: it is produced from goats milk. 

Boyne Valley are well known for their goats cheese, including their Blue. Five years ago, they developed this white goats cheese similar in style to the French Tomme cheese. There are very few cheesemakers producing goats tomme cheese on a commercial scale in Ireland and this Bán proved a perfect fit for the market.

We could taste why. It may not have the depth of colour and may lack some of the nuttiness of the Savoie cheese of the French or Macroom versions, but is has the smooth supple texture and enough of its own very pleasant flavour indeed to make it immediately wake up those taste buds, enough to make it our Taste of the Week.

Michael and Jenny Finegan run the 400-goat enterprise together. "We believe the lush grasses of the Boyne Valley produce a unique taste in our ‘Boyne Valley’ goats cheese. The lack of Irish produced Blue Goats Cheese lead to the creation of Boyne Valley Blue and soon after our award winning Bán was also produced here on the farm."

They didn't have to wait for my endorsement. In 2018 Boyne Valley Bán won gold and ‘Best Irish Cheese’ in the British Cheese Awards, received 3 stars and was nominated for a ‘Golden Fork’ award in the Great Taste Awards,  In a relatively short space of time Boyne Valley Bán has grown and has now outstripped Boyne Valley Blue in sales.

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