Swiss Appenzeller Cheese
Appenzeller cheese is a hard cow's-milk cheese produced in the Appenzell & region of northeast Switzerland. A herbal brine, sometimes incorporating wine, is applied to the wheels of cheese while they cure, which flavors and preserves the cheese while promoting the formation of a rind. Appenzeller has a documented history of at least 700 years. Today, about 75 dairies produce it, each with a different recipe for their brine wash. Most of the recipes are trade secrets. The cheese is straw-colored, with tiny holes and a golden rind. It has a strong smell and a nutty or fruity flavor, which can range from mild to tangy, depending on how long it is aged. Three types are sold:
- "Classic". Aged three to four months, mildly spicy.
- "Surchoix". Aged four to six months, strongly spicy.
- "Extra". Aged six months or longer, extra spicy.