Roth Private Reserve – the cheese they named like a scotch…
… and pretty much market like one, too.
Here is the Fairway description:
“Crafted in copper vats and aged on wooden boards in the Roth Kase cellars. Made with raw cow’s milk. This washed-rind cheese celebrates the Swiss heritage of the Roth family while capturing the unique territory of southern Wisconsin. Aged over 12 months.”
Yes. Yes. Blah blah blah. Big deal. They were drunk, or maybe the marketer is more accustomed to selling liquor.
On to the real question: is it a good cheese? Unless we know what the territory of southern Wisconsin tastes like, mixed with a little Swiss Roth heritage aged on boards, we have no clue how this cheese will taste.
Well, almost none. What caught my eye was “raw cow’s milk”. That is almost always a guarantee of taste — just like “pasteurized cow’s milk” is almost always a guarantee of bland pablum mush in you mouth.
So, with high expectations thanks to the rawness factor, I bought a piece of this cheese, and found it to deliver. It was very good. It has a strong taste. It is not stinky. It is a hard cheese, hard enough to grate. Probably very tasty grated into salads, or sliced onto fruit. A great alternative to grated swiss cheese or emental, if you’re bored with those. After chewing through it for a few nights, I finally finished it, and considered myself to be very lucky to have found this cheese. It’s the first American raw cow’s milk cheese I have come across, and is not outrageously expensive.
Imagine that: a pompous sounding cheese that isn’t.
$7.99/lb at Fairway in NYC in September 2009.