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Appenzeller is a hard cows milk cheese originating from the Appenzell cantons in Switzerland. It has been around over 700 years, and its oldest know documentation is from the year 1282. Traditionally Appenzeller was made from raw milk, but today pasteurized milk is often used.

Appenzeller is a brine washed cheese. Unlike most brine washed cheeses, herbs and spices are added to the brine, and sometimes white wine or cider. This herbed brine adds to the flavor of the cheese. There are about 70 different manufacturers of Appenzeller cheese, and each manufacturer uses a different (and usually secret) recipe for their brine.

Appenzeller has straw-colored interior, with a few tiny holes, and a yellow to golden brown rind. It has a strong smell, with a spicy, nutty, or fruity flavor. It is somewhat sharper in taste than other Swiss cheeses like Gruyère. The flavor intensifies with age.

There are three main varieties of Appenzeller, and you can tell which one you are buying by the color of the label.

Classic Appenzeller is aged 3 to 4 months, and has a silver-colored foil label.

Surchoix Appenzeller is aged 4 to 6 months, and has a gold-colored foil label.

Extra Appenzeller is aged over 6 months, and has a black foil label.

More information

The organization in Switzerland that represents Appenzeller producers has a website about Appenzeller

Where to buy

You can find Appenzeller online at


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