SECRET LIFE OF MT TAM
Ready to learn some cheese science? As a soft-ripened triple cream that changes throughout its life, Mt Tam (along with our other bloomy rind delights!) has unique texture and flavor characteristics at every age.
When Mt Tam is young, the bloomy rind is white with minimal browning, the creamline is starting to develop, and the paste is crumbly and firm. As the cheese matures, the supple rind transforms in texture and tangy, lactic flavors of fresh milk and pronounced salt give way to a more buttery richness.
Now midlife, ripe Mt Tam has a thicker, smooth creamline, some crumbliness at its core, and a more fudgy texture. This is a cheese with heart — both in texture and in spirit. The rind has some slight browning, and its mushroomy flavor is more pronounced. The lactic and tangy paste has mellowed into a flavor that, while still reminiscent of fresh milk with a salty brininess, is more rich and buttery.
Mature Mt Tam is a sight to behold! The creamline and paste have together transformed into a creamy, pudgy texture that, at room temperature, is similar to soft butter. Some ammoniation is to be expected, though it should dissipate fairly quickly. The mushroomy flavors of the rind are more pronounced with a slight bitterness, and the rind itself has a pleasantly chewy, almost leathery quality. Now pungent and full of wisdom in its old age, mature Mt Tam has more complexity and deeper notes of umami, brown butter, and cultured cream, yet is still approachable enough for any triple cream lover.
The enzymatic process that breaks down proteins and creates the creamline just under the rind.
The natural breakdown of fats that results in distinct aromas and flavors.
The fluffy white mold that creates the rind of soft-ripened cheeses.