Alpine-style cheeses pair perfectly with wintertime. Firm and flavorful, they bring warmth and richness to the plate.Moving small herds of dairy cows gradually up alpine mountainsides as spring snows melt assures that only the freshest grasses and wildflowers are consumed, lending rich, round, herbal notes to the cheese.
Known for their lower salt content, these cheeses melt wonderfully.
Our Featured Alpine Cheeses
Handmade in the mountains of Vaud, Switzerland, Le Maréchal is a raw-milk cheese sprinkled with aromatic herbs as it matures, imparting a savory and rustic flavor. It’s really nice with a glass of shiraz or a pint of wheat beer and a bowl of olives or dried figs.
Made in the French Alps, Comté’s Les Trois Comtois (“Lay Trwa Com-twa”) showcases buttery richness and a mild sweetness. This raw cow’s milk cheese nicely complements a chardonnay or altbier with some dried apricots and is excellent in French onion soup.
The celebrated cheesemakers at Emmi Roth Käse in Wisconsin are dedicated students of the alpine style and it shows in this lovely firm Pavino. The pleasant piquant bite pairs especially well with a cool glass of pinot grigio, just-ripe pears or a handful of walnuts. Shred into a grilled-cheese sandwich for a real treat. This cheese is also great for fondue.
Two other cheeses from Emmi Roth Käse that we love are Emmentaler and Grand Cru Surchoix. Their Emmentaler (aka “Swiss cheese”) is a raw-milk cheese that combines a light sweetness with nutty overtones and nice, sharp finish. For pairing, think riesling, brown ale, green olives and a slice of baguette. It’s also heavenly in a ham and cheese sandwich or folded into scalloped potatoes.
And their Grand Cru Surchoix is a stunner. An award winner many times over, this single-herd raw-milk delight features whispers of caramel and layered nutty notes. A bold Rioja or pilsner is called for here, with nuts or cured meats, or shred into a risotto.
Pleasant Ridge Reserve from Uplands Cheese is one the US’s most awarded cheeses ever. Made from raw milk, this alpine-style offering is velvety smooth, with a tantalizing earthiness and mushroom overtones. Try it with a cabernet sauvignon, slices of pineapple, or brown bread and honeycomb. Melt it into your favorite omelet for a late weekend breakfast.
Fondue: It’s Fun, Do It!
Few things are more fun than cozying up to a fondue pot, twirling a tasty delectable in the elegantly melted cheese on the end of your fondue fork, friendly conversation mingling with the warm light of the fondue’s flame. Often a melted blend of dry white wine and cheese, making it couldn’t be simpler. Crusty bread cubes are a must for dipping, but also consider lightly steamed veggies (broccoli, asparagus, fennel spears), smoked meats or crisp chunks of red apple or pear. A generous side salad makes a nice counterpoint. Classic Le Gruyère Fondue is a simple, delicious recipe that uses another Alpine cheese rock star, Le Gruyère. Tip: Emmi Roth Käse Pavino can be substituted for the Gruyere.
Join us for Cheese Nights
Taste and learn about these amazing Alpine cheeses at our next Cheese Nights! Tuesday, December 9, 6 — 7:30 pm. It’s free! Contact your local store for event details.
And always feel free to strike up a cheesy conversation with our cheesemongers. They are experts, and they love talking cheese!
Do you have a favorite Alpine cheese? Let us know in the comments below.