Oma: A Smoky Rich Cheese
August 26, 2010
Oma is a big cheese. This is the first cheese we’ve tasted that I really wanted a beverage to cut the cheese’s richness. I liken it to eating cheesecake without hot coffee–not unpleasant, but having that beverage really helps balance the food’s richness. About three-quarters of the way through my sample of Oma, I needed some liquid relief.
Oma is a raw cow’s milk cheese produced by Von Trapp Farmstead (Vermont). Oma looks a lot like Grayson, another washed rind cheese made from the milk of Jersey cows. The interior is a pale lemon yellow with flat holes. The rind is a light orange-brown color, dusted with white surface molds.
Compared to other washed rind cheeses, Oma’s aromas are quite delicate. Its rind smells like minerals and nuts, and faintly of mold. The interior smells herbal.
Oma is a mouthful. We tasted smoky, meaty, sour, and fruity flavors. It finishes with a lingering smoky sour flavor. On the tongue this cheese feels fatty and rich, almost beefy. Its texture is the consistency of pudding.
Oma is not a delicate cheese. We all liked this cheese but found it hard to eat a lot of this cheese on its own. Jacob abandoned his sample midway through, saying it was too rich ( he does this with cheesecake, too). This cheese needs some type of beverage to compliment it, but I’m not sure what to suggest. Cheese Culture Magazine suggests a craft beer, but that wouldn’t work for my under-age tasters.
Note on purchasing: This cheese is produced year-round. Our purchase source was Cowgirl Creamery (San Francisco).