A few days ago I offered my comparison of three Swiss Alpine-style cheeses and picked the cheese I found most appealing. Then a “just happened to drop in to my local cheese shop” trip introduced me to another Alpine style cheese I’d never heard of so I had to try it.
Dear lord, it was better. Awesome in fact.
Oh… and it was German.
Adelegger hails from Isny im Allgäu in the Bavarian Alps region Baden-Württemberg (southwest of Munich near the border with Liechtenstein). For the past 15 years, a small cooperative of seven farmers have provided all the organic milk for master cheese maker Evelyn Wild. Her Käsküche Isny is a small operation making around eight cheeses. Adelegger starts with raw milk and like other Alpine cheeses is a cooked and pressed curd cheese, Wild repeatedly washes the rind with herb-infused white wine. Käsküche Isny then ages the cheese longer than any of the examples from I wrote about from Switzerland, typically from fourteen to eighteen months. The impact on texture flavor is significant.
Adelegger is dense, fudgy chewy and finely silty. HUGE flavor! Lingering, deep, complex, sweet and mouth-pricklingly SHARP. Very sharp. On the nose there is dandelion and fresh flowers that melt into flavors of pineapple, brown butter, beef broth and peanuts. The flavors and scents of Adelegger make for a complex song and does it ever sing a lingering refrain. The Maxx 365 comes closest to matching the strength and complexity of Adelegger but side by side, if you prefer great depth, strongly sharp cheese, the German wins this one hands down. I eat so much cheese these days I seldom repeat-buy just for myself. But I seriously need to get more of this this week while it’s still available as German cheeses are not all that common in the US. Ask your cheesemonger to find it for you. They’ll thank you!
Who: Käsküche Isny
Where: Isny im Allgäu, Bavaria
Milk Type: goat(pasteurized)
Shape: ~15lb, 12″ wheel
Tasting notes: Sweet and sharp; pineapple, brown butter, beef broth and peanuts.