Featured Cheese of The Week: Appenzeller

11/26/2012

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A couple weeks ago, we featured pre-mixed fondue packets for cooks short on time.  This week, we’d like to highlight one of the lesser-known (but no less delectable) cheeses found in the famous Swiss dish: Appenzeller.  Made for centuries in northeastern Switzerland (a region called Appenzellerland, naturally), this raw Brown Swiss cow’s milk cheese has the perfect blend of sweetness and spice and a consistency that changes from being semi-firm to melt-in-your-mouth as you eat it.   It is produced by over 60 local cheese dairies who are responsible for ensuring the quality and consistency of this iconic cheese, all the way from raw milk in the beginning to the closely-guarded secret herbal brine applied during the 3-4 month affinage.  This special brine lends the cheese a subtle but pleasant aroma and a unique fruitiness, making it wonderfully complex yet completely approachable.  This is definitely not your average Swiss cheese!  Appenzeller can, of course, be one of the stars in your homemade fondue, but you might also want to consider baking it into a cheese and apple soufflé or a truly gourmet mac & cheese, or simply paired with the smoked meat of your choice.