Der Alpen Kase Cheese
This cave-aged cheese is similar to gruyere. It’s tangy and creamy, nutty and buttery, salty and sweet. The cheese is aged for 18 months. Pair it with fruit, preserves, and pickles, or melt it into sauces and sandwiches. To drink, go for a dry, fruity white wine, medium- to full-bodied red, or nearly any beer or ale.
Contents: 4-ounce wedge of cheese
Producer: Goot Essa
Location: Howard, Pennsylvania
In the Pennsylvania Dutch dialect, “Goot Essa” means “good food” or “good eating.” Goot Essa began in 2001 with a cooperative of six family farms. Today it’s owned and operated by John Esh Jr. and his wife, Anny Mary. Each farmer continues to work their fields with horse and manpower instead of machines, which means the farms are small and every acre and animal are cared for with love and respect. The farmers contribute fresh, high-quality milk, which Goot Essa’s cheese makers craft into small-batch, hand-made, all-natural cheese.
This farmstead, raw cow milk cheese is made according to a traditional Amish recipe that was handed down from the Esh’s German-Swiss ancestors. (Der Alpen Kase means “Alpine cheese” in Pennsylvania Dutch.) The milk for this cheese is produced on the Esh family farm in central Pennsylvania’s Nittany Valley. Unopened, it will keep refrigerated for four months. Once opened, wrap loosely in parchment or wax paper and eat within two to three weeks.