Appenzeller cheese is a hard cow's-milk cheese produced in the Appenzell region of northeast Switzerland. A herbal brine, sometimes incorporating wine or cider, is applied to the wheels of cheese while they cure, which flavours and preserves the cheese while promoting the formation of a rind.
Appenzeller has a documented history of at least 700 years. Today, about 75 dairies produce it, each with a different recipe for their brine wash. Most of the recipes are trade secrets.
The cheese is straw-coloured, with tiny holes and a golden rind. It has a strong smell a robust, rich and complex flavour including savoury notes of flowers and grasses, accompanied by a rich, mineral tang. The sweetness of the milk provides a balance to all this, and the finish on the palate is long and memorable.