January’s Cheese of the Month- Appenzeller

Cheese Making in the Alps

Appenzeller is the first cheese we will discover together!

The history brings us all the way back to 12th Century. Where the cheese makers created a beautifully tasteful technique that creates a Appenzeller cheese. This technique has been perfected throughout the years as these master Artisans bring their cows up the “pre-alp” countryside for grazing and producing a quality milk product. This cheese is produced in the cantons of Appenzell Ausserrhoden, Appenzell Innerrhoden, St. Gallen, and Thurgau which are located in the North-East part of the country. In all of Switzerland, the traditions run deep, Appenzeller cheese is one of those traditions that lives on and still holds some mystery.

The mystery I speak of is the process in how they brine/wash their cheese that creates their rind. The rind with its unique flavor of spicy and nutty essences has made its mark, and we can’t get enough.  All I can find for the ingredients used for this dark orange rind are, blends of cider, white wine, herbs, and an array of spices.

This cheese is a raw cow milk cheese, classified as a semi- hard cheese. In this specific cheese, there are some varieties that you can choose from.

The biggest difference between each Appenzeller cheese is the ripening period, the first is Appenzeller Mild Spicy ripened for three months, the second is Appenzeller Strongly Spicy ripened for four to six months, the third is Appenzeller Extra Spicy ripened for six months (assured). The last two are specialized for unique customers, the fourth is Appenzeller Bio Mildly Spicy, came a little late in the game, 1996 Appenzeller also made its debut is the organic markets, ripened for three to four months. The fifth and last is Appenzeller 1/4 -Fat Spicy, which is exactly what is sounds like, the same wonderful taste with only 1/4 of the fat content.

If you haven’t tasted this cheese, it is worth the search. You should be able to find this cheese at specialty grocery stores in their cheese case or near their bakery. Recipes to come with this cheese in the mix.


Chelsea Escobar
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