The Queso Suizo Project: Schwägalp Käse

I have a special place in my heart for this cheese. Not only is it an "Aus der Region. Für der Region." product, but Isaiah and I spent our first Christmas as husband and wife in Schwägalp. Since we didn't visit the cheese factory while we were there, it's nice to know that we can purchase this cheese at Migros or Coop.

The cheese is definitely a mountain cheese. That is, every summer about fifty different Alpine dairy farmers (or Sennen in German - don't you love how they have a special word for them?) bring their cows' milk directly to the cheese factory, Alpschaukäserei Schwägalp, to undergo traditional cheese-making processes. (Sources: FamilienkulTour and My Switzerland)

Schwägalp Käse truly melts in your mouth. It is a semi-soft/semi-hard cheese, so it’s one that you can easily slice. First thing you’ll notice is that the rind is a burnt orange color and rather potent, which reminds me of the smell of a full nappy. (Because the rind totally puts Isaiah in a fit of dry heaves, you’ll notice in the photo that we cut it off immediately after opening the package.) I wouldn’t call this cheese poignant, though, because the scent doesn’t permeate the whole house, it just stays right where it needs to, on your fingers. After one bite, you begin to experience an intensely salty yet buttery flavor. Then a few more bites later you’re hooked. If you don’t mind it overpowering your cheesy eggs, then go for it. I also enjoyed it on it’s own as a quick cheese fix, but I imagine it would complement fruit or spice up a slice of bread.

Bottom line: Pungent in the best way possible.

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