What is Tuma Cheese (Domestic)? – How To Use It

What is Tuma Cheese

This post is a part of my What is ____ Cheese Series? featuring | Muenster | Brick | Gouda | Colby

Sometimes when you are trying to identify or classify cheeses you end up with some names being used for more than one type of cheese. There isn’t set rules that everyone uses when it comes to naming cheees. Which is why I found it difficult in looking up information on a cheese called Tuma. The cheese that I found at several grocery stores in the Metro Detroit is labeled as domestic tuma. It is a white cheese that is about as soft as fresh mozzarella. It is mild like mozzarella, but I think it has more flavor than mozzarella.

What to Use Domestic Tuma For?
This cheese can be used in any way you would use mozzarella. I love it on pizza. I would rather pick it over mozzarella any day. It melts just as beautifully, and adds more flavor to the pizza.

Where You Find Domestic Tuma
So far I have found at these Michigan stores:
Nino Salvaggio – Clinton Township, MI
Westborn Market – Berkeley, MI

If you have come across this cheese, let me know where you can find it.

15 Replies to “What is Tuma Cheese (Domestic)? – How To Use It”

  1. A dear friend of mine, who was born in Sicily, recently invited me to his home to participate in learning to make ricotta cheese.
    He came to America at age 9 and remembered his family making ricotta in the old country and wanted to learn how to do it.
    One of his friends, also from Sicily, was very familiar with the ricotta making process and volunteered to show us how it was done.
    To keep the process authentic as they did it in Sicily he insisted that we use raw sheep or goats milk, which we did.
    The first product of the ricotta(recooked) making process is what is called Tuma and our teacher was very, very imphatic to point out that it was not a cheese “it is Tuma”.
    For me, it looked and tasted like “farmers cheese” or the Spanish product called “turtle” cheese that my late, Cuban, father in law used to make but this Sicilian continually reminded us that it was not considered cheese.
    Maybe it was just a translation thing or perhaps a technical issue, not sure.
    Once the Tuma is removed from the whey in the first process, more milk is added to the whey and recooked to produce the ricotta cheese.
    He said that many people think that the first product of the process, Tuma, is ricotta but they are badly mistaken, it is not.
    I have watched many YouTube videos of making ricotta cheese and almost all of them result in Tuma not ricotta, there are a few exceptions that show the real recooking process.
    Incidently, my mother is Italian and I have been eating ricotta cheese all my life of 71 yrs but we never made our own and I had never heard of Tuma until this cheese making experience.
    My dear Sicilian friend who hosted the gathering passed away last Friday at the age of 69 and will be dearly missed.
    Hope this sheds some light on your subject of Tuma.
    Dave Plowman
    Tampa, FL

  2. Papa Joes Market has it on sale this week for $3.99/lb.

  3. Thanks for the info!

  4. Pallucca & Son in Frontenac, KS has it!

    My favorite! Great even just melted and eaten alone, in my opinion!

  5. Tuma is available at Horrock’s Lansing and Grand Rapids stores.

  6. can also find it at Cantoro’s Italian store in livonia

  7. Cantoro’s in Livonia, MI also carries Tuma (from Wisconsin)

  8. You can find too much cheese at Nino salvaggio’s and at Papa Joe’s gourmet market place in Rochester and also their location in Birmingham. I am sure that westborn market in Dearborn also sells it

  9. I found tuma at produce palace 12 mile rd and Dequindre in Warren Michigan

  10. Rick Benko says:

    Thanks for your site. I actually found 2 one pound packages for
    $0.99 each at a discount at Westborn market Middle belt and
    Five mile in the cheese room. It’s funny as I’m making home
    made pizza on Monday and was going to use mozzarella. I’m kind
    of a gourmet cook. So thanks for the information.

  11. Randazzo’s @ 13 Mile and Schoenherr has it.

  12. Eric Samuelson says:

    Thanks for the heads up!

  13. Just wanted to let you know that you can also get Tuma at my store in Farmington, The Cheese Lady.

  14. Diane Buchanan says:

    Trying a new recipe for as Italian Easter Pizza Pie, it calls for Tuma Cheese. So far I have not been able to find it, nor anyone whom has even heard of it. Is there another type of cheese that can be used in place of it?

  15. Eric Samuelson says:

    You could also go with mozzarella or if you can find it brick cheese.

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