New and Featured Alpines at Zuercher

S285 Alpage Hoch Ybrig – 1 / 15#

During the alpage season, from April through October, the remaining Swiss farmers who practice traditional transhumance move their herds to high Alpine pastures where they graze on fresh meadows and wildflowers. The raw milk produced by these cows is considered the gold standard for Swiss cheesemaking. Alpage cheeses, such as Gruyère and Hoch Ybrig, are produced in rustic mountain chalets as opposed to larger, more modern cheese plants.

Hoch Ybrig is the little brother of Gruyère; it is produced using a similar raw cows’ milk recipe, but is made in a smaller-sized wheel. For this reason, artisan cheese shops appreciate Hoch Ybrig because of its manageability factor. While alpage production methods remain parallel year after year, Hoch Ybrig’s flavor is very much dependent upon the environment, altitude and local flora variations. The seasonal differences, however, are what make alpage cheeses so exciting. Despite the variations, you can expect a clean, dense texture that melts on the tongue. Hoch Ybrig consistently develops flavors of beef broth and toffee, cultured butter and fruit, as well.


Cornish Kern is the newest
creation from Lynher Dairy in Cornwall, England and available on our Neal’s
Yard Dairy pre-order files. The same dairy produces Cornish Yarg, a crumbly,
lemony nettle-wrapped cheese that stays true to the traditional British cheese
flavor profile. Cornish Kern, however, is quite a departure from its sibling.

Cornish Kern begins with
Ayrshire, Jersey and Friesian cows’ milk, is crafted by hand and matured under
a breathable wax coating. You’ll notice the wax mottled with mold from aging, a
hint of the earthy finish you’ll find within the paste. Each Kern (taken from
the Cornish kernow, or “round”) is
aged for approximately 12 months.

The Zuercher staff had an
opportunity to taste Cornish Kern during a recent visit from Neal’s Yard. To
our surprise, the texture was firm and smooth and the flavor tasted savory and
nutty, echoing toasted bread with hazelnut butter. We learned that its
production uses techniques of both Dutch- and Jura Alpine-style methods. The curds
are cooked, and then washed, enabling a closely-knit dough with a faint
sweetness. We appreciate that the sweetness is kept in check and its meaty
qualities remain in focus.


Raclette Bagnes – 1 / 10#

Valais Raclette originates
from the canton of Valais in southwestern Switzerland. Within Valais, the two best
known areas for Raclette are those from the Goms district and Bagnes in the
Entremont district. The reputation for Raclette in both regions is
considered equal.

Zuercher has been carrying Gomser
Valais Raclette for some time now. However, being that we’re a cheese company
of Swiss heritage, you could say that we “geek out” a bit when it comes to
things such as this. We also know that our customers can be equally as
passionate, so on our most recent shipment, we brought in a small amount of
Bagnes Valais Raclette to satisfy our piqued curiosity. Pricing and size
are the same as our usual Valais, so you will be able to compare
apples-to-apples. Let us know what you think.