This past summer at the Fancy Food Show, I came across an unusual, yet tasty unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese. Like the various cheeses from Switzerland that I have previously shared, I enjoy this one immensely.
Hagenbutten, by Rolf Beeler, has a deep cocoa brown exterior mottled with rosehip dust and white mold giving it an ivory and terra cotta appearance. The interior pate is a pale mustard hue, speckled with dried, pink minute rose hips and tiny eyes throughout-as if to give you a window into the character of the cheese. Firm textured and creamy yet, slightly crumbly, the aroma of sweet sauerkraut and mustard permeates the senses.
The appearance alone was enough to pique my curiosity, and I could no longer wait to taste this exotic cheese. The flavor is intense, meaty, and tart with a lingering finish that grips the back-sides of your mouth. A truly interesting experience!
This cheese melts beautifully, and I strongly recommend using it for your next grilled cheese sandwich along with some country ham to add a bit of flare! Try washing it down with a nice Witte beer by Ommegang, or a nice glass of Trimbach pinot blanc from Alsace—Off the charts delicious, and oh so satisfying!