This firm cows cheese comes to us from Almnäs Bruk, a picturesque estate on the coast of Lake Vättern in central Sweden.
With a rich history dating back to the Middle Ages, the impressive 8,800-acre farm has played host to everything from a distillery, to a brick factory, to a cheese dairy. The estate's mixture of forest and organic fields ensures their herd of Holsteins receives the kind of high-quality nourishment that can only come from a pasturage with a large amount of biodiversity.
A raw-milk cheese, Almnäs Tegel is known for both its magnificent shape and striking rind. Each block is imprinted with the stamp of a child's foot in homage to the estate's industrialist age, when children would play amongst the still-drying bricks and leave behind footprints in the clay.
Refined for at least eighteen months, Tegel is washed with decreasing frequency in salt water, resulting in an aromatic brown rind. Beneath the rind is a smooth paste that ranges in colour from ivory to straw-coloured, depending on the season during which it is made. As it ages, Tegel's flavor becomes increasingly rich and complex. Notable hints of fruit are balanced by a delicate caramel flavour, followed by a long and satisfying unami finish.
A great tribute to Swiss mountain-style cheeses, pair Tegel with fresh berries and a Riesling or hard cider.