Saturday, January 13, 2018

Exotic/Disgusting Foods and Beverages Forum--German Butterkase Cheese

     I stumbled upon this one while shopping in my local Shop-Rite grocery.  I selected it both because I'd never heard of it, or had it, and also because I haven't had many German cheeses in general.  Evidently, England, France, Italy, and The Netherlands in particular are more proactive about exporting their cheeses, at least in the supermarkets and stores that I've checked.  The brand I bought was made in Germany, by King's Choice, and imported/distributed by the DCI Cheese Company out of Wisconsin in the U.S.
     Butterkase means "butter cheese" in German.  It's a semisoft cheese made from cow's milk.  It's mostly produced in Germany, Austria, and in Wisconsin.  The history of this dairy product is surprisingly brief.  It was invented in 1928, as a variant of an Italian cheese called Bel Paese, which in turn only dates back to 1906, from the town of Melzo.  Butterkase is known for its buttery taste (of course), and consumers often compare its flavor to Muenster and Gouda.  Its hues range from white to yellowish-orange, and its aging time is a scant 3-4 weeks.  One website which I looked at called it a "new secret weapon for recipes or your next wine and cheese party," which I found amusingly dramatic.  That website also touted its flavor as being mild enough for kids to enjoy, but sophisticated enough for adults.  Butterkase is sometimes called "damenkase," ("ladies cheese" in German) because of its lack of odor and delicateness.  You don't often see cheese-related examples of sexism, but I guess this is one, albeit a fairly innocuous one, I suppose.
     The King's Choice website notes that they sell cheese from Denmark and Holland.  But they don't mention Germany, nor is butterkase included on their product list.  I'm pretty confident that this is the right company, as their logo is identical to that on the label for the cheese I got, so apparently their selling of butterkase is fairly recent, and the website hasn't been updated.  The American distributer, the DCI Cheese Company, sells cheeses from Australia, Canada, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Holland, Ireland, the Isle of Man, Italy, New Zealand, Norway, Spain, Switzerland, and the U.S.  One of their products is the Spanish Manchego cheese, which I posted about on August 29, 2015.  Also, this was the first time I recall seeing the flag of the Isle of Man, and I immediately liked its design.  It's rather stylized and strange, being three legs stuck together in a wheel shape.
     Anyway, the butterkase I purchased was a light yellowish color.  I cut it up into small pieces and ate them plain.  As reported, it was semisoft in texture.  Also as advertised, I did think it had a mild, and buttery flavor.  It had a slight tang to it as well.  Overall I found it very pleasant.  My father tried some too, and came away similarly impressed.  So no real surprises here--the guy who adores cheese more than any other food in the world, who's never found a type of it that wasn't at least decent, enjoyed yet another.  I certainly recommend it, and will probably buy this again.  It was a tad expensive, being about $6 for an eight ounce (226 gram) chunk.

     Also, forgive the repetition, but the Kickstarter for the "Hidden Animals: A Collection of Cryptids" horror anthology (in 2 volumes) is still ongoing, and I encourage folks to check out the book's information video, and consider contributing to what is shaping up to be a fun, interesting book.  Thanks!  The address is below:

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