Berner Alp-und Hobelkäse AOP
Berner Alp-und Hobelkäse AOP

Berner Alp- and Hobelkäse AOP

Bernese Alpkäse AOP is made on a daily basis during the summer grazing period from raw Alpine milk. The dairy cows are fed mainly on what grows in the summer grazing meadows. The milk is turned into cheese in copper vats that are heated directly or indirectly by wood fires. When it comes out of the press, the cheese is stored in a saturated brine bath for a day. After this, the loaves have salt and a little brine rubbed into them regularly. Bernese Alpkäse AOP is kept in summer grazing holdings for at least two weeks. It is at least six months old when it is finally sold. The loaves of Bernese Alpkäse AOP that are selected to be processed into Bernese Hobelkäse AOP come exclusively from batches that have achieved the "Surchoix" quality class and have remained in the same geographical area during the entire ripening period. The loaves picked out for processing are removed from the cellars or storage areas at the earliest after six months. The brine that was smeared on the rind is cleaned off before the loaves are processed for at least another 12 months in a "Gaden" (one-room storage building) with a natural climate or in an artificially climatised room.

History

Cheesemaking using rennet started in the Bernese Oberland Alps around 1500. As early as in the Chronicles of Johannes Stumpf (1548), mention was made of the special quality of the "Alpkäse" (Alpine cheese) from this region which was known as "Sibenthal" and "Saanerkäss". In the 17th century, the production of Alpkäse in the Bernese Oberland acquired great economic significance. The current manufacturing practice varies only very slightly from the instructions to the Alpine dairy recorded in 1872. Hobelkäse originates from the tradition of preservation by means of drying.

Recipes using this cheese