Stefan Wiesner Cooks Emmental AOP URTYP In the Forest
Emmental AOP URTYP
There are a number of types of Emmental AOP cheese and one of the most flavoursome is the Emmental AOP URTYP®. In fact the AOP URTYP is said to be “the Emmental cheese” which comes closest to the original 13th century ‘forefather’ of all Emmental cheeses.
This variety of Emmental can only be produced in cheese dairies selected in accordance with stringent criteria and the milk must come from within a maximum radius of 20 km of the cheese dairy. Only certain Emmental AOP cheese is accepted by the Emmentaler AOP Consortium to be selected according to strict criteria for further maturation in order to become a genuine “Emmental AOP URTYP” .
We went for a trip to the heart of Emmental country, in the Canton of Bern, to meet Michelin starred Chef Stefan Wiener. There, in a clearing in the middle of the forest in the Emme Valley, we helped him cook a lunch using Emmental AOP URTYP cheese as the key ingredient.
First of all the large wheel of Emmental AOP URTYP needed to be cut into manageable slices for cooking.
We all had a go at cutting one of the big wheels of cheese. It’s not actually as easy as it looks … but we got there in the end!
Michelin Starred Swiss Chef Stefan Wiesner
Next we watched as Chef Stefan Wiesner began preparing the dishes which we were going to eat inside a beautifully decorated wooden hut.
Stefan is a big fan of Emmental cheese and he loves to cook with the elements of fire, water, air and wood. Thus the setting in the forest was the perfect location for this lunch.
We went down to the river with Stefan to fetch water for cooking – and then it was time to start grilling on the open fire.
Despite the primitive surroundings, Stefan managed to create a delicious menu. After a “cheese croute” with Emmental AOP URTYP, we enjoyed a delicious and very imaginative “Hay soup”.
This was followed by either sausages using local meat and cheese and the vegetarian version was a Potato and Cheese Slice delicately seasoned with fresh herbs and served like a sandwich.
The sausage and potato cheese slice were served on plates made from slices of a red pine tree which Stefan cut just before serving.
Stone ice cream in the making!
Stefan then whipped up a really interesting dessert which was an ice cream made with ground stone (!) and served with chunks of Emmental AOP URTYP and “crisps” made of grated melted cheese cooked in a pan until crispy. It was actually all quite delicious and true to the rustic feel of this lunch, he used flat stones to serve it.
Ex Military Bunkers Used To Store and Mature Emmental
After lunch it was time to drive off to a secret location. We were heading to a destination deep in the forest where a former military bunker is now used to mature and ripen the huge wheels of cheese. Not usually open to the public, we had the opportunity to go behind the scenes and see for ourselves what it was like inside. First of all we had to change into white coats, hats and shoe protectors and then walk through a bath of disinfection fluid.
It was an amazing sight to see so many of these huge cheeses stacked side by side on wooden shelves. Each one is so heavy that they even had an automatic “cheese robot” which grooms, moves and turns theses heavy wheels of cheese.
We had a demonstration showing how the experts assess the cheese for its quality. They hammer all over the cheese listening to the sound it makes and then using a small instrument they take out a small amount to smell, taste and evaluate. It requires years of experience and know how to assess how long an Emmental cheese will take to reach optimum maturity.
It was a fascinating experience to walk down the aisles surrounded by these huge cheeses stacked from floor to ceiling and to realise how long it takes to create a beautifully mature Emmental AOP URTYP cheese. It was an incredible day and a great experience.
To find out more about Emmental AOP Cheese read our article here about 25 Facts about Emmental AOP Cheese.
Emmental AOP URALT Cheese is available to purchase at Coop in Switzerland and all good cheese stores.
For More Information on Emmental AOP URTYP®
For more information visit the Emmental AOP website here.
You can also find a number fo great Recipes Using Emmental AOP cheese here.
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