EMERYVILLE, Calif. (Sept. 1, 2016) – On Sept. 13 from 6-7:30 p.m., Whole Foods Market is hosting a nationwide Cheese Night to celebrate Alpine-style cheeses. Stores will offer samples and will have an expert or Certified Cheese Professional on hand to talk about the characteristics and flavor profiles of Alpine-style cheeses.
Generally, Alpine-style cheeses are nutty and salty with flavors of hay and/or caramel. Most pair well with white wines like viognier, reisling, or pinot grigio. Some of the cheeses customers will find on Sept. 13 include:
- Kaltbach Le Gruyère: Made in Switzerland, this cheese is matured for 12 to 16 months and is washed regularly with brine. Flavors are complex, ranging from caramel, nuts, notes of mushroom, hay and fruit, and crunchy, salty granules add an extra boost of flavor.
- Emmentaler: This famous cheese – the Swiss with the holes – has been in production for 400 years in the valley of the Emme. It has a buttery, delicate and nutty taste.
- Le Marchel: Handmade in the mountains of Vaud by Jean-Michael Rapin and his sons since 1992, La Marchel has the distinctive aroma of hay, and herbs impart a very rustic and savory flavor.
- Pavino: Exclusive to Whole Foods Market, this Alpine-style cheese is made in Wisconsin but stands up to any made in the Alps. It is nutty, fruity, and robust with a sweet milky finish, and is also sprinkled with crunchy salt crystals.
- Kalthbach Alpine Extra: Aged in caves located on the edge of the Wauwiler Moos area in the canton of Lucerne, Switzerland, this award-winning, raw-milk, semi-hard cheese offers a tangy aroma and complex flavor.
Joe Kaulbach, who oversees the cheese program for Whole Foods Market Northern California and Reno, explains the origin of this popular style: “Imagine, hundreds of years ago: small families are scattered across the rural Alps. One family has four cows; another has eight, another has 20. The cows are all roaming in the mountains; the families all need their cows milked and need to make cheese. So, traditionally the men went up into the mountains, built a hut, lit a fire from surrounding firewood, and put a copper cauldron on it. They would make ‘cooked pressed cheese,’ which was a new style of cheese in the 13th century: they’d cook the curds, press them into a form, and make wheels. At the end of the summer–and this still happens today–the cheese makers come down from the mountains with their cheese and their cows in a gorgeous pageant called the Transhumance. Then, they send the cheese to market. This is what provides their living for the year.”
Alpine-style cheeses melt better than any other cheese and are great for cooking.
Swiss Family Sandwich
Turkey, Tomato, and Emmentaler Breakfast Sandwiches
Pizza with Le Gruyère and Prosciutto
Classic Le Gruyère Fondue
Celery Root and Potato Gratin
Butternut Frittata with Sage and Gruyère
San Francisco stores are also teaming up with Sur La Table to invite customers to cook with Alpine-style cheeses. The companies are giving away a Le Creuset fondue set, Swissmar Swivel Raclette Grill (an eight-person device!) and Breville panini press via the @wholefoodsmarketsf Instagram account. Users can follow the channel and tag a friend on relevant posts to enter to win.