German Cheese - Cheese Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Germany boasts a rich cheese making history, having developed several hundred varieties of German Cheese over the course of history. Although Germany is known more for imitating cheeses from nearby countries, Germany does deserve credit for creating its own original German Cheese types such as Bruder Basil, Butterkase and Cambozola cheeses.

Approximately 75% of German Cheese production occurs in Bavaria's Allgau region, an Alpine territory located in Southern Germany. The lush Alpine landscapes in the Allgau are the source of the high quality milk and cheese that makes this region the center of the German Cheese industry.

Types of German Cheese

Allgau Emmental
Also known as Bavarian Swiss, the origins of this best selling German Cheese can be traced to the Emmental region in the Swiss canton of Bern. Allgau Emmental was first made when Josef Aurel Stadler brought his "Swiss method" to the Allgau region of Germany in 1821. Today, Allgau Emmental's (Protected Designation of Origin) status requires that it be produced in the Allgau region with milk from local dairies.

Allgau Emmental is a firm yellow cheese with cherry sized holes and a natural rind. This German Cheese is aged less than Swiss Emmental and consequently has a milder flavor. This nutty cheese melts well, and is perfect in sandwiches or salads.

Bruder Basil
Bruder Basil is the most famous brand of German smoked cheese, also known as Rauchkase. This creamy semi-soft German Cheese was originally produced by Trappist monks. Today, Bruder Basil is produced by Bergader Private Cheese Dairy. Bergader continues to produce Bruder Basil to exacting traditional standards that have been upheld since its inception in 1902. Bruder Basil has a dark brown rind and is beech wood smoked, which contributes to its unique flavor. This smoky German Cheese is perfect for grilling, snacking or sandwiches, and pairs well with a dark German beer or dry white wine.

Limburger
This traditional, aromatic German Cheese was originally a creation of Belgian Trappist monks. In the 1800s a piece of Limburger was brought to the Allgau region of southern Bavaria and its production began there soon thereafter. This washed rind cow's milk cheese is white in color with a tangy flavor and famoously pungent aroma. Limburger is traditionally served with dark bread and onions along with a cold, dark German beer.

Butterkase
Butterkase (literally "butter cheese") is a creamy, mild, cow's milk German Cheese. The name Butterkase was derived from its melt-in-your-mouth flavor that reminds one of butter. A German original, Butterkase is also known as Damenkase, German for "ladies cheese", due to its delicate flavor. Aged for one month, Butterkase is a delicious substitute for butter when snacking, and is excellent on baked potatoes in place of sour cream. This German Cheese melts well, is perfect in sandwiches and cheese platters, and pairs well with fruits and sparkling wine.

Cambozola
Cambozola marries the creamy richness of Camembert and the sharp tangy flavor of Gorgonzola. Cambozola is a soft German blue cheese developed in the 1970s by Kasseri Champignon in Bavaria. This popular German Cheese is smooth and velvety, with distinctive blue pockets and a white rind. Extra cream is added for a supremely mild flavor. Cambozola is best when enjoyed with fruits and nuts, or a piece of French crusty bread.

Tilsit
Originally created by Dutch immigrants who settled in the town of Tilsit in East Prussia, German Tilsit is a semi-firm cow's milk cheese that has an edible washed rind. This authentic German Cheese is buttery and slightly spicy in flavor with uneven small holes throughout its 10 pound loaf. Tilsit is a versatile cheese, great for sandwiches and salads, and can be melted into sauces or used in casseroles.

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