Smooth, firm, dense, straw-coloured paste, orange, sticky rind and
a full, spicy flavour.
Appenzell is a canton (region) of Switzerland,
located between Lake Constance and Liechenstein. The cheese was first
made in the 8th or 9th Century at a time when cheese was used as currency
in Switzerland. So called 'Alpkase' cheeses were used as a means of acquitting
taxes, as well as being taken over the Alps to Italy to be exchanged for
rice, spices and wine. Swiss cheese making was renowned across Europe,
and in fact became so popular that after 1571, cheese merchants were only
allowed to export butter and cheese that exceeded the needs of the canton.
Appenzeller is a semi-hard cheese, which
matures a little quicker than the other well known Swiss hard cheeses
such as Emmental. Once the cheese has been lightly pressed it is initially
dipped in brine baths containing white wine or cider, yeast, pepper and
a mixture of spices. It is then matured for 3 to 4 months, after which
it is brushed with the same liquid. This brushing is especially important
in imparting the distinctive flavour of Appenzeller.
Appenzeller is made from unpasteurised
cow's milk. The small brown cows which are a familiar sight on the Swiss
Alps are highly prized for the quality of their milk. The cheese is produced
as a wheel which is 30-33cm in diameter and 7-9cm thick weighing 6-12
kg. It is a full fat (45-50%) cheese made from unpasteurised milk. Its
silky semi-hard texture and slightly spicy flavour make it an ideal ingredient
of a traditional Swiss Fondue. The rind is dry with a spicy aroma.