Another small morsel from Whole Foods on the cheese board was a German cheese, Hirtenkase Reserve. This “herdsman” cheese is traditionally handmade in the mountain regions of Southern Germany. The milk comes from small herds, usually under 20 cows per farm, which means the cows are well cared for, and graze at altitudes above 2500 feet. The cows enjoy the alpine meadow grasses of the summer and in the early farm return to the valleys where a celebration is held to announce their return for the winter.
This cheese is a hard cheese similar to a super-aged Gouda or an aged Parm with those tasty little flavor crystals that The Man and I so love. It has a pleasant ever-so-slightly bitter aftertaste.
This cheese won two gold medals at the World Cheese Awards in 2005.
I give Hirtenkase Reserve 3 Paws out of 4 Paws (cause that’s all I’ve got).
Serving Suggestions: This is a very versatile cheese. You can grate it and use it in pasta dishes; on a gourmet pizza; in gratins and on a cheeseboard.
Wine Pairings: Gewurztraminer
Beer Pairing: As with Robusto, I recommend a Brown Ale
Source: Very spoiled and well cared for Cows that graze in the alpine meadows.
Awards: 2005 World Cheese Awards