[toor-uh-fahyl, tyoor-, tur-]
noun a connoisseur or lover of cheese.
Great word, turophile. Great thing too, to be a lover of cheese. I place myself firmly in that category and, as such, was delighted to be asked to attend a lunch that explored Switzerland’s artisan raw milk cheeses from Rolf Beeler
, referred to by some as the “Pope of Cheese”. Tom Merkli, director/importer of The Red Cow
, partnered with one of Melbourne’s hottest new restaurants, Virginia Plain, to host the lunch which presented six of the Sélection Beeler cheeses, artfully matched to wine/beer, bread and a bespoke mix of condiments made by head chef Andy Harmer.
Sélection Rolf Beeler Raclette
Brasserie Bread Sour Cherry Loaf
666 Vodka, Tasmania
Sélection Rolf Beeler Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC
Noisette Traditional Baguette
Cavalier “Brown Ale”, Brunswick, Victoria
Sélection Rolf Beeler Gruyère AOC
Dench Bakers Farmhouse Loaf
2011 The Wanderer ” Pinot Noir, Yarra Valley, Victoria
Sélection Rolf Beeler Emmental AOC
Phillippa’s Walnit & Rye Loaf
NV Dettori “Renosu” Bianco Vermentino & Moscato di sorso, Sardinia, Italy
Sélection Rolf Beeler Toggenburger
La Madre Bakery Caraway Seed
2011 Krauthaker “Mitrovac” Graševina, Kutjevo, Croatia
Sélection Rolf Beeler Alp Sbrinz
La Madre Bakery Walnut & Currant Rolls
2010 Apfelweinkontor Wein aus Äpfeln Trocken, Frankfurt, Germany
Enormous thought went into the pairing of these beautiful cheeses. Perhaps my favourite for the day was the Alp Sbrinz. Tom Merkli from Red Cow, the exclusive importer describes it thus,
“The texture of this Sbrinz is quite firm before breaking down to a sensation redolent of granular sugar, then yielding to a wonderful, piquant creaminess. It’s clearly a well-matured treat for true raw milk cheese connoisseurs.”
I thought it’s piquancy lent itself to the concentrated sweetness of the currant in the bread and found the complexity of the lively and tangy apfelwein could stand up to the strong cheese. Try apfelwein (literally apple wine) if you see it anywhere- it is a world away from what most of us know as cider.
The Alp Sbrinz was featured again in one of the best takes of Mac ‘n’ Cheese I have had in quite a while – a croquette designed by Virginia Plain head chef Andy Harmer.
The Red Cow website tells you all you need to know about the cheeses and where to get them.
They have also put together a great video to introduce some of their cheeses. Check it out here