Our Alpine Cave takes a more hands-off approach than some of our others. Here, the cheeses are washed on a regular basis for the express purpose of keeping the rind from drying out, as well as prohibiting unwanted mold growth and encouraging beneficial microbial growth. The washing done in the Alpine Cave is much gentler than the scrubbing that occurs in our Washed Rind Cave.
The warmer temperature and more humid atmosphere in the Alpine Cave helps to spur the enzymatic action happening deep within the cheese, which continues to develop complex flavors over time.
Washing, flipping, brushing
Flora & Microbes:
Like their washed rind cousins, alpine cheeses often develop orange-forming Corynebacterium on their surface. These aerobic bacteria often contribute to the unctuous aromas of the funkier alpines. In addition, the anaerobic Propionibacterium can be hard at work on the interior of the cheeses creating some of the distinct flavors associated with the alpine family, and under the right conditions, the beautiful eyes associated with many of these cheeses.
Familiar flavors coming out of this cave range from Benzaldehyde, which lends itself to a nutty/almond flavor, to propionic acid, which is responsible for the classic “Swiss Cheese” flavor characteristic of Emmentaler.