Sunday, June 1, 2014

Cheese: Appenzeller

Appenzeller cheese is made of cow's milk and is a name-controlled cheese produced in the Appenzell Canton of northeastern Switzerland, near Austria. It is one of the 1001 Foods You Must Taste Before You Die (2008, p. 312). 
There are historic references to this cheese going back to the late 13th century. It is made from curd that has been cooked or heated before pressing. While it ages it is washed or brined in sulz, a mixture of pepper, herbs and white wine or cider which flavors the cheese and promotes a rind. This was probably introduced by monks like other washed rind cheeses. It is a wheel shaped cheese with a brown rind and yellowish paste and has scattered holes pea-size holes. There are about 75 dairies that produce it, each having their own proprietary brine wash. Three of the dairies make it with raw milk, recognizable by a bluish-gray line between the rind and the past. 
It is variously described as: (a) having a strong smell and "a nutty or fruity flavor, which can range from mild to tangy;" (b) "an aroma similar to burnt butter...similar to Gruyere but spicier, it is tangy and pleasantly sharp;" (c)  it is a "mountain cheese that is sharper than Gruyere, but not as sharp as Tete de Moine...[I]t has a singular fruity tang." Classic, which comes in a silver label, is aged three to four months. Surchoix, in a gold label, is aged four to six months. Extra, in a black label, is aged six months or more. 
Appenzeller Extra
I had the six month aged Extra, purchased from DTLA Cheese in Los Angeles. I like it quite a bit. It can be a little on the strong side, for example I've had it in salads and with some weisswurst on a tortilla, and the flavor really stands out, but it is fantastic on its own as a tasting cheese. 

No comments:

Post a Comment