Behind The Rind Volume IV: Annelies
Annelies Master Profile
Batches Being Offered: Batch “A” (1 Year Annelies) & Batch “B” (Extra-Aged Annelies)
Target Profile: Hailing from Northern Switzerland’s Appenzell valley, our collaboration with the legendary cheesemaker Walter Räss (more on that in the next section) is aged in his Swiss caves for two months, then in our Alpine cave for about nine months (or more in the case of our 2 year aged batches) before we release it. We notice a buttery, sweet, and yeasty quality in Annelies that reminds us of brioche bread. These flavors are usually accompanied by a hint of nuttiness & onion, consistent with the usual Alpine flavor spectrum.
Actual Profile: This week, we compared our current release of Annelies (Batch A -- currently about 12 months old) with a batch that we are aging out further (Batch B -- to be released as our Two Year Annelies). To our surprise, the younger version was more savory and oniony. We all really like this current batch. The extra aged version is forming some really nice tyrosine crystals and is still very much on profile. As expected, the texture is firming up a bit with age. We are really excited to release this cheese when it’s two years old.
Figure 1 – Spider graph of Annelies sensory attributes for batch “A” & “B”. Results are based on an average of 3 tasters. “Ideal Profile” represents a theoretical batch of Annelies that is perfectly on profile.
Cheese Cave Spotlight
The Story of Annelies
One of the many wheels of Annelies that ages in the Murray’s Caves each year
Annelies aging in the Murray’s Alpine Cave
Crystals in Annelies: Getting Better with Age
A wedge of Cavemaster Reserve Annelies, the white flecks in the paste are emblematic of Tyrosine Crystals or “crunchies”
As of now, more research is needed to confirm the mechanism behind the development of tyrosine crystals. However, data (albeit circumstantial) have shown that Lactobacillus helveticus (a type of bacteria commonly active in maturing cheese) is closely associated with tyrosine crystals. L. helveticus cannot make or break down tyrosine, so tyrosine is released as this bacterium utilizes peptides created during proteolysis. L. helveticus may not itself be active in the cheese—its peptidase enzymes may remain active even once the bacterial cells have lysed. Tyrosine crystals likely form in discrete patches, either around L. helveticus or where it had once thrived. So these crunchies are like little, delicious gravestones.
If you love the crunch of the Tyrosine Crystals in Annelies, check out Roomano, and extra aged Gouda