Cheese of the month April 2016: Silva from Eggemoa in Mühlwald, Alto Adige/I

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Location: the Cheese Festival in Sand/Taufers in the Valle Aurina in Alto Adige (a very inspiring event – go, if you can). Recommendation from: Dominik Flammer, Swiss food scout and enthusiastic fan of all good things from the Alps. Therefore: top priority, first tasting stop, the Eggemoa table. From Mühlwald, a small village a few minutes drive from Sand in the direction of Lappach. On that table, a small selection of small cheeses, most of them soft. Love at first sight (and taste): Silva!

Silva wrapped

The little beauty, not even a pound, glowed in a warm orange gold, wearing a solid, circular spruce bark armour. Made from the untreated, raw milk of the Steiner family’s 15 cows, who assumedly lead a happy life up at 1300 alpine meters. Michael Steiner is a second generation cheese maker, as his mother started to work their milk into cheese. Michael apprenticed with and learned from Willi Schmid in Toggenburg/CH. And learn he did.

Silva whole

It is a joy to watch the family of bark wrapped soft cheeses – granddaddy of them all: Vacherin Mont d’Or from the Jura – grow steadily. Försterkäse in Switzerland, Harbison and Winnimere from Jasper Hill in Vermont… and now Silva.

The bark’s resin aromas seep into the cheese the longer you leave it to mature, and they love to meet up with bold white wines, such as Savagnin or Chardonnay Ouillé from the Jura or, obviously, Terlaner and Gewürztraminer with some bottle age from Alto Adige.

This a monthly series which I have been publishing for years. You can subscribe here, to get the latest cheese delivered directly on to your screen. 

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