The toma

August 8, 2011


  • 2 liters of sheep milk
  • 1/2 liter of goat milk
  • 1 tablespoon of rennet – salt

What to prepare

  • a casserole
  • a strainer
  • a ‘fassella’
  • a teaspoon
  • a spoon


Whereas “tome” can be made of cow milk, sheep milk and goat milk; we will talk about the classic “toma” of the Alba region, the one made of sheep and a small percentage of goat milk. Milked at night it mus be stirred and filtered in order to remove all foreign matter (hay, hair etc. … ).

Add a tablespoon of rennet and salt, mix and let it rest to the following day. Take the coagulated milk and put it in the “fassella” (container with holes that is placed on a sort of tripod).

Let drain (during springtime from this whey giuncà is made), after 12 hours take it out of the container and turn it upside down. After five or six hours take it definitely out of the container and lay it on hay or on canes and let mature for other 5 or 6 days turning it and changing its position.


These are the most characteristic cheese of the Piedmont region, so famous and researched by gourmets, which are as many other, in danger for the many adulterations coming from the industrial production, which uses its name and shape but will never equal its unique taste.

Up to a few years ago, it was an esclusive family and farm production, fundamentally similar in its soft firmness, having light variations in its flavor and in its light color according to the different seasons, areas and grazing lands.

I remember fresh buttery spring tome, the summer ones that were drier and more mature, the autumn ones “del bech” (of the billy goats), when we formed the strop, the flocks, and the sheep go into heat and surrender to the impulsive and stern bech’s assaults. Also the taste changes: light, made with fresh milk in spring, stronger and more consistent in summer, with a dash of greater verve in autumn.

Photo CreditF Ceragioli