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What makes a cheese an Alpine cheese?
Partly it’s where it’s from: cheeses made in the mountains of Switzerland, France, or Italy. America also has some excellent Alpine-style cheeses from Vermont.
Alpine cheeses are made from the milk of animals that have grazed on rich grasses, herbs, and flowers in mountain meadows. Such cheeses are made traditionally and with centuries-old methods unlike those used to create other cheeses.
They are known for their spicy, nutty, fruity, herbal, buttery, and grassy flavors.
This Saturday, we’re sampling three of our favorite Alpine cheeses at perfect ripeness. All three are from Switzerland.  Come join the party!

Uri Minnie - Tastings Gourmet MarketÜsi Minnie

What’s not to love about a cheese named after the cheesemaker’s favorite cow? Üsi translates to “our,” and Üsi Minnie is lovingly handcrafted in Switzerlandabout 2000 feet above sea level.
Every cheese has a story, and Üsi Minnie has several. In addition to the story behind its name, Üsi Minnie’s story has roots in traditional Alpine cheesemaking. Made in the style of Alpine Mutschli, which was created on a family’s stovetop from curds left over from Gruyère, Mutschli would be shared with Sunday guests who came bearing news from the village far below.
Üsi Minnie is a beautifully balanced and complex cheese.  You’ll taste roasted nuts and buttery spiceiness rounded by floral and herbal notes. Because it is so distinctly an Alpine cheese, you’ll find it pairs beautifully with Swiss and German wines.
Origin: St. Gallen, Switzerland,
Producer: Käserei Oberli
Milk: Raw cow
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Natural
Age: 2 months +
Look:  Dense paste, few holes
Feel: Semi-firm, smooth
Smell: Milky, buttery, funky
Taste: Rich, creamy, bold, nutty, grassy
Tastes good with: Cornichons, Kozlik’s Balsmamic Fig & Date Mustard
Pairs well with: Sparkling crémant d’Alsace, Gewurtztraminer, Muscat, Pinot Gris, Riesling

Moser Camembert Button - Tastings Gourmet MarketMoser Buure Weichkäsli

Here’s a mini cheese that packs a punch.
Buure Weichchaesli (which translates as “The Farmer’s Soft Cheese”) is a little more than an ounce of aromatic goodness. Its creamy texture and big aroma give you five bites of delicious, unexpectedly mushroomy and earthy flavor.
Buure Weichchaesli is a relatively firm cheese and yet it has an extremely creamy texture with big, aromatic notes. That is the result of its salt bath and exposure to yeast cultures that do their work to create a firm button with a creamy core.
These little “Camembert buttons” would be delightful on your cheese board, but be sure to get several if you’re serving a group. Everyone will want to try this aromatic, but not too strong, cheese.
Origin: Switzerland (Dotzigen region)
Producer: BonCas Dairy
Milk: Organic, pasteurized cow
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Mold-ripened
Age: 2 months +
Look: Round, 1 oz.
Feel: Soft, but relatively firm
Smell: Aromatic, spicy, clean, bright
Taste: RIch, creamy, bold, nutty, grassy
Tastes good with: Baguette, oak crackers
Pairs well with: Champagne, Sauvignon Blanc

Wildspitz - Tastings Gourmet MarketWildspitz Bio

Wildspitz Bio is an artisanal farmstead cheese from the foothills of the Swiss Alps. It has a complex, nuanced flavor as the result of frequent washings in saltwater brine. Its rich creaminess, tanginess, and herbal notes will delight you.  
The thing that makes this cheese such a stand-out is its 5% goat’s milk. The goat’s milk gives it a tang and acidity one doesn’t normally get in an Alpine cheese. It also has the typical floral flavors from the Alpine foothills where it is made. The cows and goats feast on lush mountain pastures and their top-quality milk is naturally rich and flowery as a result. And it’s 100% organic.
Fans of Appenzeller and Gruyère MUST try this cheese!
Origin: Switzerland (Steinerberg in central Switzerland)
Producer: Kaeserei Vogel
Milk: Organic pasterurized cow (95%) and goat (5%)
Rennet type: Animal
Rind: Brown, smeared rind
Age: 6 months +
Look: Rustic rind
Feel: Semi-hard, few holes
Smell: Milky, herbal
Taste: Aromatic with a hint of acidity from the goat’s milk, rich, creamy, herbal notes, intense nuttiness
Tastes good with: Salty almonds, cashews
Pairs well with: Red wines. Beer: light Lagers, Ales, and Pilsners
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