Black Pepper Tomme Béjo by Maison Béjo

Spice and cheese is a combination allowing a great creativity from cheese makers. From paprika to curcuma, curry or cumin, each spice can find a cheese to fit its taste. When thinking of Vietnam, one of the signature spice that will come to mind will be pepper. The country is one of the biggest producers and offers a great variety of peppers. We couldn’t ignore this Vietnamese treasure and decided to craft a unique Tomme with black pepper flavour.

Black Pepper and cheese: A quick history

Its origins

Black Pepper is native from South East Asia. However, the use of this rare and precious resource is proved back to Ancient Egypt. We know little about how peppers arrived from South East Asia to Egypt. We do know that regular trading trips to India were made by Romans bringing back with them some pepper. During that time and until the 17th century, pepper was often referred as “Black gold” and reserved to the richest.

During the Middle-Age and the Renaissance, pepper was mainly traded by cities such as Venice and Genoa, owning the monopole on the Mediterranean trade. Black Pepper started to diffuse in the country and naturally combined with Italian cheeses.

Pepper and cheese for all

Pasta cacio e pepe

With the development of intense trade between Europe and Asia, the price of pepper dropped and became affordable for all social categories. And that’s how the use of black pepper in signature dishes and cheeses strongly grew.

One the best example is the world famous pasta cacio e pepe. A Roman dish requiring three ingredients : Pasta, pecorino romano (a sheep’s milk cheese) and black pepper. These hardly spoiled ingredients made it popular among shepherds when moving their herds from summer pastures.

And slowly, the use of black pepper in cheese diffused among cheese producers. The spiciness of the pepper combining perfectly with the generous and rich taste of cheese.

Among the most famous black pepper cheeses, we can name:

  • The “Pepato”
  • The “ Raclette au poivre”
  • The “Pavé au poivre”

How the Black Pepper Tomme Béjo is made ?

Black Pepper Tomme Béjo

The Black Pepper Tomme Béjo follows a similar process as our Tomme Béjo. Inspired by the French traditional cheese making techniques. Though, we spice it up with a selected black pepper from Quang Tri province, a central land of Vietnam.

Historically, pepper was cultivated in the southern regions of Phú Quốc and Hòn Chồng. Under the influence of the French, the pepper industry developed strongly and fully expended from 1975.

We selected this Quang Tri black pepper for its distinctive aroma rather than its spiciness. The strong perfume of this pepper, slowly develops and diffuses in the Tomme Béjo during the 2 months of aging, giving it a genuine taste and look and offering a different experience than the Classic Tomme Béjo.

 

Some characteristics of the Black Pepper Tomme Béjo

The Vietnamese cheese by Maison Béjo

A wheel of our Black Pepper Tomme Béjo weighs around 800g for a diameter of 16cm.

The crust of our Vietnamese Black Pepper Tomme Béjo varies from golden yellow to dark orange. A very fine white velvet on the surface of the cheese is a guarantee of quality.

This Tomme is a pressed cheese, offering a soft and gentle texture in its heart.

Its taste offers a buttery and wild flavour. After its two months of ripening, the woody aroma of the Pepper gently diffuses in the cheese.

This Tomme can be enjoyed directly accompanied by a good glass of wine. We recommend removing the cheese 5 minutes from the refrigerator before tasting to savor all the aromas. It can also be eaten melted on a piece of bread or potatoes for a different but equally intense dining experience.

Our Black Pepper Tomme Béjo can be stored under 8°C for at least a month. We advise you to cover it well in order to prevent the cheese from drying out.

If you’d like to experience the Black Pepper Tomme by Maison Béjo, order on our shop.

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