Cheesemaker: Walter Rass, Käserei Tufertschwil
Origin: Saint-Gallen, Switzerland
Milk Type: Raw
As its name implies, Challerhocker (‘Sitting in the Cellar’) is a firm cellar aged cheese that, despite it’s somewhat creepy label, is a stunningly good cheese. After a full day worth of pressing, the cheese is moved to wooden shelves for ten months, and carefully washed with wine, herbs and spices. It is noteworthy that this cheese is not produced by co-ops, or different farms… this is one cheese made by one man; a true artisanal effort.
Any fan of alpine cheeses will find a new friend in Challerhocker. The rind is a khaki coloured brown, slightly pungent and yeasty with a noticeable stickiness; given to it’s aging in a cellar and wine-based wash. Once inside, the paste is incredibly smooth, broken only by the odd eye created by gases released during the aging process. Challerhocker is both nutty and sweet; not unlike a carefully crafted praline or a not-too-sweet pecan pie. Combined with the savory zip of it’s washed rind, this cheese shines in every category.
Challerhocker can (and should!) be enjoyed any time of day; equally suited at breakfast through to a late night snack. You can certainly pair this cheese with classic Swiss accompaniments; smoked cured meats, chornichons & other pickles & crusty peasant bread. However, don’t let that stop you from eating it on it’s own, you will be glad you did, just don’t forget the Reisling!