Thomae in her garden. photo by Alexis Adams
Raised in this place, Thomae has crafted the cheese since childhood,
and her family—a long lineage of shepherds and cheesemakers—has made it for generations. “I grew up watching my mother make touloumotiri, and helping my father milk the goats and sheep. It’s in my blood,” she tells me during a recent visit. Indeed, the wooden paddle she uses to stir the milk was her mother’s and her grandmother’s before her. The copper colander, now blackened by years of use over a wood fire and, more recently, the propane burner, came with her dowry when she married her shepherd husband, Theodoros, nearly 50 years ago.