Milk: Cow, Raw Milk
Country: Switzerland, Northeastern Cantons
Consistency: Firm, aged for 9 months
Accompaniment: Pinot Gris or fruity red
Hailing from northeastern Switzerland, near the border with Austria, this AOC cheese can only be produced in 4 cantons Appenzell Innerroden, Appenzell Ausseroden and parts of the Cantons of St Gallen and Thurgau. In all some 75 dairies produce this cheese.
Each dairy has its own secret concoction of brine, herbs and wine with which the cheese is washed on a regular basis in the aging process. The “nose” that this creates hints of fermenting fruit with a bit of barnyard thrown in for good measure. The AOC requires that the cows whose milk is used for the production of this cheese can only be fed grass and hay, feeding of silage is not allowed.
The flavor pattern is complex with notes of fruit and nuts. The cheese remains mild, creamy and smooth with aging although it does acquire some increased tanginess.
Appenzeller is one of Switzerland’s oldest cheeses. Tax records (in the olden days tax could be paid in Switzerland by means of cheese) indicate that this cheese was around at the time of Charlemagne some 1200 years ago.
This cheese goes really well with a nice dried salami.