raw cow milk, aged 8-12 months
The layered complexity of a great beef broth describes the nuanced flavors of this Appenzeller-inspired cheese. Brown Swiss milk, transformed into cheese and long-aged, expresses itself as Nature's version of MSG: robust, bold and mouthwateringly meaty. Lingering long on the tongue, flavor discoveries are unique to the taster. A pleasantly tongue-tingling sensation accompanies longer aged batches along with a fine crystallization that crunches under the teeth. The epitome of milk preservation, each 25-pound wheel represents a distinct moment in time. Wheels are aged from eight to twelve months and harvested by cheesemakers when at their peak.
Service: In the cold weather, grate copious amounts and broil over roasted potatoes. In warm weather, a slab of the stuff on a thick slice of rustic sourdough, topped with a ripe, dripping tomato.
pasteurized cow milk, aged 45-60 days
An indulgent mouthfeel. The pudgey pound-sized wheel is a balance of succulent, pudding-like flesh and a tender yet toothsome rind. Washing the cheese in beer from a neighboring brewer encourages deep ripening and gives the rind its grapefruit hue. A very approachable wash-rind cheese, flavors are of cultured butter with a mellow nuttiness and a whiff of wild onions. This cheese is chewy and supple, its texture found only in the magic that the alchemy of fermenting milk can offer.
Service: For just a snack, with pickles and thinly sliced ham. For something more, on pumperknickle with fresh greenery. To fully indulge, with crisp bubbly and your feet up.
pasteurized cow milk, aged 10-14 days
A snowy, white-rinded button often dappled with golden swatches and the occasional appearance of blue. Young, it is rich and silky on the palate with a bright, lactic tang. As this cheese matures, its flavor deepens; aromas are of rising bread dough with finishing taste of true sea salt. With ripening comes a melting just beneath the rind while the core paste grows fudgey in texture. Consider this cheese a fresh, milk biscuit.
Service: In the morning with marmalade. In the afternoon on seeded toast with avocado. In the evening -- unsparingly -- in good company.