Glarner Alpkäse AOP
One cheese, countless variations
Be alerted: This cheese only is for the flexible consumer. What you get when you order it can derive from different alps, at various maturation levels, and in several flavor and texture profiles. - How exciting for the ones who don’t mind a little diversity!
Glarus is one of the smallest and oldest cantons within Switzerland. It consists of an array of high mountains and narrow valleys, plus a few small towns. Agriculture and transhumance - people moving with herds they tend to in accordance with the seasons - still marks the lifestyle of so many of its inhabitants.
The Glarner Alpkäse only got its AOP status in 2014. The restrictions Glarona - the coop owned by the 27 Glarner Alpkäse AOP producers - came up with are stern and old fashioned. No treating, heating or mixing of the milk, no centrifuges, no storing. Warming over wood fire, use of bacteria culture used for these seasonal wheels exclusively. - The goal clearly is to produce purest, most honest, highest quality Alpage cheeses. And reach that target, these producers certainly do.
Glarner Alpkäse AOP is a pressed cheese made of raw cow milk. It gets washed with a simple brine during the first four weeks. After this time the cheese makers bring the wheels down to the communal cave where they receive their further affinage. The cheese has a dry, brown rind and an ivory to yellow paste with few round holes. The flavors can vary from milky mild with a hint of acidity all the way to vegetal, herbaceous and hints of toast, depending on the Alp the specific wheel was made at and the age it has. The cheeses become dryer and develop a nice little bite over time.