Roelli Little Mountain – 2016 American Cheese Society Best in Show

Last summer,
Roelli Cheese Haus won first place in Best of Show at the ACS competition for
their cheese Little Mountain. Roelli only made Little Mountain in limited
quantities and had almost no cheese available to satisfy the resulting demand
from winning the most coveted cheese award. They ramped up production late last
summer, and those wheels are finally hitting their target profile. Zuercher
& Co. has secured a small lot for our customers. We feel it was definitely
worth the wait.

Chris Roelli (pronounced RAH-lee) is the great-grandson of a Swiss immigrant
cheesemaker, and Roelli wanted to return to his roots when creating Little
Mountain. This 15-pound cows’ milk cheese is loosely based on Appenzeller, and
uses heat-treated Holstein milk (not pasteurized at high temperatures, but not
truly raw either.) Minimal culture is used and frequent washings of the rind
help to create its flavor profile. After about 8 months of brine-washing,
flipping and aging, the result is brilliantly multi-faceted.

Before even
cutting into the wheel, you’ll note that the exterior is something of beauty.
Zuercher’s very own Helder dos Santos participated in judging, and reflected on
what he remembered about the cheese. “The rind has a “beautiful, smooth,
leathery feel. I could stroke it all day.” Cut into the paste, and you’ll find
that Little Mountain’s texture is firm, dense and toothy, but then warms on the
tongue. Its flavor is nutty with layers of flavor, but isn’t big and brawny
like Swiss Appenzeller and lacks any itchiness on the tongue. The finish is
smooth and lingering.

Although we
have a small amount being delivered to our warehouse, Roelli has been flooded
with orders since their ACS win. They have ramped up production, but supplies
are still limited. Point being:  grab this while it’s here! Future supply
may be inconsistent or scarce.