Sennerei Sibratsgfell is a cooperative Alpine dairy founded in Vorarlberg, Austria, in 1907. The cooperative’s farms include 10 summer herds and 17 winter herds of Brown Swiss cows, whose milk is delivered twice daily to the dairy. During the summer season, the cows graze in mountain pastures up to 1500 meters. During the winter, they eat silage-free hay from the same pastures. The company currently produces three cheeses, a Vorarlberger Bergkäse, Bachensteiner, and a small Bergkäse named Kilokaesle, which is this month’s selection. The dairy’s cheesemaking facility is a remarkably flexible space with two production areas, one with a large copper-lined vat and a rotating 35-kilogram bergkäse press, and the second with a smaller vat and a portable, coffin-style press in which the dairy makes the Bachensteiner and Kilokaesle. All three cheeses are aged onsite in a newly renovated, 2,300-wheel cellar, and at a cooperative Käsekeller in Lingenau.
Kilokaesle is a semi-firm cheese made from raw cow’s milk and aged for six months. A wheel comes in the shape of a truckle, a small cylinder. Kilokaesle is a mutschli-style cheese. Small wheels of mutschli were traditionally made when there were not enough curds to fill the large molds, or if there was not space in the cellar for the larger wheels. Sometimes the batches were so small that they could be made on the stovetop in a cheesemaker's home, then aged only four months. These small batches were shared with the villagers who brought food and supplies up the mountain where the cheesemakers lived and worked. However, Kilokaesle became so popular over time that cheesemakers experienced an increasing demand for it.
While the Kilokaesle wheel may appear small, this cheese is big, chewy, and meaty in texture. Its flavors are bright and tart, like freshly cut apples, and the finish long lasting and tangy. Kilokaesle makes a great, everyday table cheese, and will pair with a variety of Austrian, Alsatian, and German white wines, and as an addition to a charcuterie platter.
Experience International Variety
You might receive a Gaperon, originating in France during the 14th Century, an
authentic Lancashire by Ruth Kirkham, and an Italian Taleggio matured in the
caves of Valsassina…all in one shipment!