This week's pairing may seem more harvest-inspired at first glance but once you get a taste of it, you'll realize how amazingly light and seasonally appropriate it is. Enjoy!
Producer: Kaserei Studer AG
Region: Thurgau, Switzerland
Milk: Raw Cow
Kaserei Studer AG was founded as a dairy association in 1867 on Lake Bodensee in Thurgau, Switzerland. In its early years, the association focused on the production of Emmentaler. In 1992, third generation leaders Daniel and Thomas Studer began to produce Appenzeller at the dairy. After completing a new ripening cellar in 2003, Kaserei Studer expanded production to include innovative cheeses such as Maxx 365.
Maxx 365 is made with whole milk with a touch of cream added, and is washed with an herbal brine as it ages. The nose on the cheese bursts with berries and cream with a slight undertone of fresh hay. On the palate, the creamy texture is balanced with just a hint of crystallization...as well it confirms the intensity of berry notes.
Julian Hard Cider
Just an hour or so west of the San Diego, this cider was poured at a lot restaurants and bars in SoCal. Finding it here in Chicago certainly made us happy. An atypical cider in its "cleanliness" and lack of overtly sweet flavor.
Almost prosecco-esque with persistent but small bubbles, very fresh yellow and green apple skin flavors and no musky Normandy-style cider aspect present. Light, crisp, pleasant, and deceiving as this cider packs about 7% ABV.
We're really happy to have this open in the stores this week as this bottle is a real workhorse in regard to cheese pairing as well as a constant surprise to cider nay-sayers.
Guest Monger: Yahn
From its light color and tiny bubbles, you would expect this cider to be all crisp apple and bright acidity, and while it has these flavors, there are also richer notes of black cherry, blackberries and a grassiness that reminds me of dandelion greens. The cheese is exceptionally creamy and rich, with a light saltiness but also sweetness. The buttery texture and toasty flavor remind me of macadamia nuts and the soft middle of fresh bread.
These are two very different pairings depending on the order with which you taste the ingredients. If you swish the cider around your mouth then eat the cheese, the two combine in a creamy/sweet wonderland of dessert flavors, like raspberry cheesecake, or a butter and jam tartine like the French have for breakfast. However, I found that if you coat your mouth with cheese, the cider washes it away almost immediately and seriously takes over with its flavors. I would like this pairing with Effie's oatcakes.