Announcing the newest member of our cheese family: Alpenhorn

Announcing the newest member of our cheese family: Alpenhorn

Name: Alpenhorn
Nickname: Jarlsberg on steroids
Proud Parents: Dutch Gouda & Swiss Emmental
Place of Birth: Holland

From ham & cheese sandwiches to black peppercorn fondue, Alpenhorn – or as we like to call it: Jarlsberg on steroids – is a 100% cow’s milk cheese with a sweet, nutty flavor and a soft, creamy texture that suits nearly every palate. We’d like you to try a free wedge on us this week (Jan. 26-Feb. 1, 2011) with your coupon when you spend $30 or more.

Alpenhorn cheese, made by Uniekaas in Holland, is aged at least six weeks and is a cross between a Dutch Gouda, generally a semi-hard, amber colored cheese (depending on age), and a Swiss Emmental, a holey, hard cheese with nutty overtones.

It’s the characteristics of these two cheeses that give Alpenhorn its distinct profile; the sweet notes and creamy texture are a result of its Gouda lineage, while its holey appearance and mild nutty flavor are a tribute to the Swiss Emmental.

A little trivia for you: Did you know the holes in some cheeses are referred to as ‘eyes’ in the cheese industry? See, you can learn something every day!

Alpenhorn is best used for snacking and melting, and pairs beautifully with a port, pinot noir or lager beer. Here are two deliciously cheesy fondue recipes you can make with Alpenhorn.

Fondue notes: Cheese fondue is prepared and served in wide, flat pots, also called caquelons. They are usually made of ceramics, which heats slowly and evenly. cheese fondue can also be prepared in a stainless steel or enamel fondue pot, but be sure to KEEP THE HEAT LOW enough to keep the cheese from burning.

Beer & Cheese Fondue

We think this recipe would be a hit at your Super Bowl party, don’t you? Adapted from Barron’s Fondue. Prep time: 1 hour. Serves 6.

  • 11 oz. Gruyere cheese (we recommend Emmi Cave Aged Kalbach Gruyere)
  • 11 oz. Alpenhorn cheese
  • 1 tsp caraway seeds
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1 cup light beer
  • 1 TBL cornstarch
  • 1 clove garlic, minced or squeezed through a garlic press
  • 2 TBL kummel (caraway liqueur) or kirsch (a liqueur)
  • Pepper, to taste

Directions: trim rinds from cheeses and grate coarsely. Finely crush the caraway and coriander seeds in a mortar or grind in a coffee grinder.

Heat beer in fondue pot (caquelon) over low heat on the stove. Stir in a handful of cheese and melt, stirring constantly. Gradually add remaining cheese, continuing to stir gently.

Whisk the cornstarch with 2 TBL cold water and stir into cheese. Season cheese with caraway, coriander and pepper, and stir in the minced or pressed garlic.

Bring mixture just to a boil, stirring, and then set pot on fondue burner. Just before serving, stir in kummel. Stir occasionally.

Good dippers: a mixture of cubed baguette, crusty bread and soft pretzel. Also, small boiled potatoes, cubed sausage, radishes, baby corn, cooked ham and more.

Spicy Cheese Fondue

Add a little kick to a cheese fondue with chilies! This would also be good with tortilla chips or soft pretzels. Adapted from Barron’s Fondue. Prep time: 45 mins. Serves 6.

  • 1 small red chili pepper
  • 1 small green chili pepper
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 9 oz. Alpenhorn cheese
  • 9 oz. Gruyere cheese (we recommend Emmi Cave Aged Kalbach Gruyere)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 TBL cornstarch
  • 5 TBL kirsch (a liqueur)

Suggested Dippers:

  • 9 oz. small boiling potatoes
  • 8 oz. small, firm mushrooms
  • 1 small loaf onion bread (about 9 oz.)
  • 1 large pear (if using pear, also prepare 2 TBL lemon juice

Directions: wash potatoes and place in a pot with enough water to just cover the potatoes. Bring to a low boil and cook for 15-20 minutes, or until just cooked. Drain and cool a bit, then peel.

Wipe mushrooms and cut larges ones in half. Cut bread into cubes. Drain corn. Quarter and core the pear, cut quarters into cubes or bite-sized pieces as desired. Sprinkle pear cubes with lemon juice. Set aside.

Slit chilies, seed, and mince. Peel garlic and then mince or run through a garlic press.

Trim rind from cheeses and grate coarsely. Slowly warm the wine in a fondue pot (caquelon) on the stove, adding chilies and garlic.

Gradually add cheese over low heat, stirring constantly. When cheese is melted, bring just to a boil.

Whisk together the cornstarch with the kirsch until smooth. Pour into cheese mixture and stir until mixture is thickened and creamy. Set fondue pot on a burner with a small flame to serve. Stir occasionally.

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