Gourmet Must Haves for May

Featured Cheese

Appenzeller from Rolf Beeler, Switzerland

AppenzellerRolf Beeler, known as “Switzerland’s Pope of Cheese,” is renowned for aging Appenzeller, a semi-firm, aged raw cow’s milk cheese washed in a centuries-old secret blend of herbs, wine and liquor brine. This versatile and complex cheese works equally well on a cheese plate or melted.

“One of the better values at the cheese counter today is extra-aged Appenzeller,” says San Francisco Chronicle Cheese columnist Janet Fletcher, who describes Rolf Beeler’s Appenzeller as sublime and vastly superior to other versions of this cheese. She describes it as smelling of, “brown butter and roasted hazelnuts, with hints of that barnyard fragrance that characterizes most washedrind cheeses.”

This is a cheese that, in taste tests, defines the difference between grocery store swiss (“bland, rubbery saltiness”) and a classic European swiss, described by taste testers as having, “buttery flavors, rich velvety texture, and a pleasantly sharp, nutty aftertaste.” Wonderfully smooth and ideally suited for melting (think fondue), Rolf Beeler Appenzeller cheese’s sweet, fruity flavors, supple texture and spicy aftertaste make it an ideal picnic cheese too.

Featured Gourmet Cellar Pantry Staple

Italian Casina Rossa Extra Virgin Olive Oil pressed with pure fresh lemon

lemon olive oilIf you don’t have this bright olive oil in your pantry yet, it’s time to add this versatile staple to your arsenal. Superb on salads, seafood, and in marinades, it adds tang and depth to cooked or raw vegetables, pasta, pizza, or even a tuna fish sandwich.

The sunny lemon flavor and earthy olive oil richness elevates a diverse range of dishes and can transform last night’s dinner leftovers into a fresh new lunch.

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