Saturday, November 26, 2011

Cave Aged Emmental

High in the secluded Kaltbach Caves near Lucerne Switzerland, the finest Emmental cheeses rest in cool, humid air of these unique sandstone caverns. Made in massive 200 pound wheels from pure, unpasteurized cow's milk, and matured for one year, the cheeses acquire a densely creamy texture. Using ancient techniques, constant temperature and humidity can be achieved in the caves all year round, ensuring perfect development.

The Swiss are so particular about their cheese, and the care of their cows that Swiss law requires the cows go outside for at least 20 days of each month where they must seek their own food, and not fed silage. 

In the summer time, the farmers bring their cows up to the Alps where they can graze on a gourmet selection of 120 different herbs. They bring the cows back down from the mountains in late autumn. The resulting milk from the rich herbal diversity of their diet produces highly desirable Alpekäse (Alpine cheese) and butter. In addition to the difference in taste, Alpine cheeses have a light yellow color from the herbal diet consumed, and non-Alpine cheese (made during the winter) has a lighter ivory color.

The result is a refined, yet intense flavor, strong and fruity with a wonderfully complex aroma of meadows and flowers with raisins and wood fires. Unlike traditional Emmental (also known as Swiss cheese), this one has a dark brown rind and a unique, nutty, full-flavored taste. One of the three traditional ingredients to fondue (along with Appenzeller and Gruyere) this is a perfect melting cheese. It is manufactured by Emmi, master cheesemakers since 1782.

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