Appenzeller cheese is a hard cow’s-milk cheese produced in the Appenzell region of northeast Switzerland. It has a documented history of at least 700 years. Today, about 75 dairies produce it, each with a different recipe for their brine wash. Most of the recipes are trade secrets.
An herbal brine, sometimes incorporating wine or cider, is applied to the wheels of cheese while they cure, which flavors and preserves the cheese while promoting the formation of a rind. The cheese is straw-colored, with tiny holes and a golden rind. It has a strong smell and a nutty or fruity flavor, which can range from mild to tangy, depending on how long it is aged.