Stanser Rotelli (translation: “little red from Stans”), a washed-rind, soft-ripened raw cow’s milk cheese made by Josef Barmettler in Stans, Switzerland and affinaged by Rolf Beeler. Similar in style to a Reblochon, with the trademark pungency of a washed-rind cheese. The rind is rosy-orange in color, with white bumpy mottling and waves, especially as it ripens (this wheel was a little younger and firmer). The paste is smooth, velvety and creamy, heavy eyed with irregular openings. If you can get when it’s really ripe it can be runny to the point of spoonability, like a fine Epoisses, and at that point it will give Epoisses a run for its money in the “holy crap what is that smell” department as well!
The aroma is first thing that hits you, the wonderful (for some of us) smells of barnyard, wet hay, complex and multilayered, thanks to the quality raw milk that goes into this cheese.
The flavor is milder than some washed rinds but still quite assertive, sweet, meaty, milky, even spicy, with nutty and herbaceous notes and a smooth finish.
Purchased at Rubiner’s Cheesemongers in Great Barrington, MA.