Speciality Portrait: Allgaeuer Emmentaler
VARIETY OF FLAVOURS: from mild to aromatic.
Allgaeuer Emmentaler is a cheese to accompany you through life. Children love the flavour of its young variety, with its mild, slightly sweet and nutty aroma, and of course because of its big holes, while adults appreciate the piquantly aromatic taste of the mature cheese.
The hard cheese speciality is traditionally made of 100 percent Allgaeu raw milk. This guarantees its protected designation of origin, that genuine Allgaeuer Emmentaler, Allgaeuer Emmentaler, is permitted to display.
The large cheese wheels mature for at least three months. By then the Allgaeuer Emmentaler has taken on its hard and smooth texture, flawless cut surface and appetising sheen.
It is always there on daytime snack platters, in break time sandwiches and of course on cheese buffet tables. It also tastes good grated or in broken slices, for example on vegetables or fruit. Allgaeuer Emmentaler exudes the most delightful aromas when used in hot dishes. The favourite dish in the Allgaeu region? Cheese spaetzle noodles with plenty of Allgaeuer Emmentaler!
UNMISTAKEABLE: A cheese loved also for its holes.
The most recognisable characteristic of Allgaeuer Emmentaler is its cherry-size holes. You can see inside them, look through them and nibble around them. They are formed when the cheese matures in the so-called maturing cellar. During storage, the natural maturing cultures turn the lactose to lactic acid and carbon dioxide. The holes are formed because this CO2 is unable to escape through the rind of the cheese.
Allgaeu master cheese makers bang the maturing cheese wheel with small hammers. They can tell from the echo how big the holes have become and in turn how far the cheese has matured!
HISTORY: Originally an immigrant, now a genuine Allgaeu local.
Nowadays, the Allgaeu is one of the most important milk and cheese regions in Europe. Hard cheese has been produced in the deep south of Bavaria, for more than 200 years. In the early nineteenth century, Swiss cheese makers, in particular Johann Althaus, gave the locals invaluable assistance in the development of their hard cheese culture. The cheese merchant Josef Aurel Stadler was responsible for starting things off in the Allgaeu, To allow him to become independent of the troublesome cheese importing procedures (he later went down in history as a pioneer). Among other things, the cheese makers or 'Senner' introduced the typical maturing cellars in the Allgaeuer, which allow the Emmentaler cheese to mature to perfection and develop its typical large holes.
Allgaeuer Emmentaler quickly went on to become a regional speciality. Local milk supplies were soon unable to keep up with demand, and so farmers turned their agricultural land, on which they still grew unprofitable flax crops, into pastureland. The once flax-blue Allgaeu now became pasture-green. And it was not long before the brown Allgaeu cattle that grazed in the Alpine meadows became a hallmark of the region that is just as recognisable as the cartwheel-size golden-yellow cheese wheels.
PROFILE Allgaeuer Emmentaler.
|Type||Hard raw milk cheese|
|Designation||Protected designation of origin (PDO)|
|Fat content||45% fat in dry matter|
|Form||Large, round wheel with a diameter of 70 to 85 cm; weight 60 to 130 kg|
|Appearance||Medium yellow with cherry-sized holes; golden yellow to dark yellow rind|
|Maturity||Reached after at least three months|
|Flavour||Mild and aromatic, nutty|
|Valuable ingredients||120 grams of Allgaeuer Emmentaler contains as much calcium as a litre of milk. A good tip for teenagers: a sandwich with Allgaeuer Emmentaler, a glass of milk and a yoghurt will cover your required daily intake.|
|Tolerability||Contains virtually no lactose|
|Storage||Cool but not cold (under no circumstances below 0°C): preferably on the middle shelf of a refrigerator. The ideal packaging for Allgaeuer Emmentaler is the original packing material or paper from the cheese counter. |
Alternatively, it can be kept beneath a cheese cover or wrapped in film (which should be pierced with a fork to permit aeration)
|Serving conditions||At room temperature. Allgaeuer Emmentaler should be removed from the refrigerator half on hour before serving (but not before, otherwise moisture will form on the surface).|
RAW MILK CHEESE LORE.
Most cheeses that we buy in the supermarket are made from heat-treated milk. This brief heating process kills germs and increases the milk's shelf life.
Raw milk cheeses such as Allgaeuer Emmentaler are exquisite delicacies, cared for and refined by expert and experienced hands. Raw milk is milk that has not been heated to any temperature above 40 °C prior to cheese making. This preserves a wide variety of natural flavouring agents, aromas and microorganisms in the milk that have a favourable effect on the cheese's fragrance.
The milk used to make high-quality Allgaeuer Emmentaler often originates from grazing cows or cows that are fed daily with fresh grass and hay. This preserves the taste of the milk, which varies according to region and season, and gives the cheese specialities their distinctive flavours.
CHEESE CUISINE: The noodles are ready dear!
A fresh draught beer, a crispy pretzel, a bunch of radishes and a stout piece of Allgaeuer Emmentaler: in Bavaria, this is considered seventh heaven (and it can be had by anyone in a cosy beer garden on a Sunday afternoon).
In the colder season, Allgaeuer Kaesspaetzle or cheese noodles will warm the gourmet's heart. Purists prefer to scrape the noodle dough into the boiling water by hand. Those who prefer to get the cooking over with more quickly and have more time to enjoy the food will select a fresh noodle product. The main thing is to ensure that the cheese is an authentic Allgaeu! Then gradually pile up the noodles with freshly grated Allgaeuer Emmentaler layer for layer in a pre-warmed bowl, with a generous amount of onions fried in butter on the top. If you prefer, you can also accompany it with some green lettuce salad.
Allgaeuer cheesecake with asparagus salad is a blend of two genuine originals: Allgaeuer Emmentaler and Allgaeuer Bergkaese. Carpaccio of Allgaeuer Emmentaler with onion salad is an elegant combination. In Allgaeu speciality cuisine, traditional recipes are upheld and new ones created. Our top recommendation: chicken breast piccata with warm vegetable salad.
DRINK TIPS from the sommelier.
Allgaeuer Emmentaler goes very well with:
- Light lager
- Strong red wines such as Pinot Noir or Dornfelder (also matured in a barrique)
- High-alcohol white wines, such as late vintage Silvaner, Pinot Gris or Pinot Blanc