The mercury’s been in a downright low position lately, and seems intent on hanging out there for a bit. So rather than whine about the weather, why not warm up by stocking your pantry with some savory comfort-food-ready cheese?
Alpine cheese refers to any cheese that is made using methods similar to those made in the Alps… Think Gruyere, Emmenthaler, Comte and such. These cheeses are characterized by their firm, yet elastic texture, low salt content, and super melt-ability (yes, that’s the technical term). They have a wide array of flavors, ranging from fresh cut grass to chocolate to toasted hazelnuts depending on the forage of the animals (usually cows) whose milk was used to make them.
In the kitchen they’re chameleons, making gluttonous grilled cheese, mac and cheese magic, fabulous fondue, and gratuitously good gratins. Just slice, grate, and add to your favorite dishes for a butterfatty kick in the pants that is sure to banish the winter blues!
Spring Brook Tarentaise is a sharp, firm cheese that is sure to please just about any crowd. It is crafted in the Alpine-style, meaning that it follows the tradition of famed cheeses of the Alps like Gruyere, Beaufort, and Comte. Made from rich, raw Jersey cows’ milk in a traditional copper vat, Tarentaise is rich, complex, and full-flavored. Aged for 7 months or more, the texture is smooth and dense, with deep, nutty, and spicy flavors abounding. Hints of freshly cut grass and sweet toasted hazelnuts accent the flavor profile. Please note that all cheeses are cut to order in half pound increments, meaning that there will be a slight variance in weight. Rest assured you’ll never receive less than the quantity you order, but you might score a little bit more!
Calderwood is a rich and robust wheel of raw cows’ milk cheese coated in finely chopped fibers of hay. The wheels are washed with brine for six months in the Cellars at Jasper Hill before being coated in hay and sealed in Cryovac. After an additional four months of aging, the cryovac is removed and the cheeses are left to dry and form a natural rind in the cellars. The finished wheels of cheese are firm nutty and complex, with hints of earth, caramel, chestnut honey, and tropical fruit.
One of the winningest cheeses in the history of the American Cheese Society, Pleasant Ridge Reserve has taken home a few blue ribbons: 2001, 2005, and 2010. Cheesemaker Andy Hatch crafts these Alpine-style wheels just 10 weeks out of the year, when the cows are out on pasture. The flavors locked within each wheel of Pleasant Ridge are the perfect expression of the terroir of the low grassy valleys of southwestern Wisconsin in summertime. Each rich and hearty wheel sports a stately coffee brown rind, and tastes of toasted nuts and caramel. Aged between 6 to 11 months. Please note that all cheeses are cut to order in half pound increments, meaning that there will be a slight variance in weight. Rest assured you’ll never receive less than the quantity you order, but you might score a little bit more!
When the mercury drops and the snow begins to fall – there’s just one thing a true cheese-aholic craves – fondue! It need not be a big to-do, Saxelby’s taken care of all the cheesy details when it comes to crafting winter’s finest melted cheese dish. We’ve chosen three perfect fondue-ready cheeses, and will even throw in our favorite fondue recipe to get things started! All you need to provide is heat!