Sbrinz is a hard cheese of Swiss origin. It is often substituted for Parmesan cheese in local Swiss cuisine. The cheese is prepared by only about 42 local dairies at present. The milk from the local cows is used for manufacturing the cheese. It is usually kept preserved within the region until it becomes ready for consumption.
The cheese enjoys the legal protection of origin. It is made with unpasteurized milk that contains full cream making it considerably higher in fat content. This imparts a nutty and smooth flavor to the cheese. Sold in 90 pound wheels, the cheese can be aged for as long as eight years which makes it grainy lending it an expansive flavor. However, it needs to be ripened for at least 16 months before it can be sold under the name of Sbrinz.
History of Sbrinz Cheese
It is considered to be the oldest European cheese made by the Celtics before the birth of Christ. Some sources put down the date of its first production as 70 AD while others claim that the cheese had been mentioned in documents of the year 1200. The records preserved in the museum of Bern reveal that the cheese had been referred to in old documents which can be traced back to 1530.
There is no region after which the cheese is known as. However, the name could have been derived from the Swiss word for a pack of trains or could have come from the old Lombard word which means hard cheese.
The cheese is listed under the AOC which specifies the type of milk as well as the manufacturing process for the cheese to be labeled as Sbrinz.
Popular Sbrinz Cheese Recipes
- Schinke - Chas – Chueche- A kind of cake baked with ham and grated cheese.
- Risoto- Enhances the taste of risottos when grated on top.
- French Onion Soup- Served with the melted cheese along with croutons.
- Salads- Fruit salads and fresh green salads are served with shavings of the cheese.
- Crepe Monsieur- A pancake topped with bacon, tomatoes, mushrooms and served covered with the melted cheese.
Buying/Storing Tips: Sbrinz Cheeses
The cheese is available in delis and specialty stores across the United States of America. It can be bought online as well.
The young form of cheese known as Spalen is used for cooking. It needs to be refrigerated. The ripened form that is hard in texture keeps for a long period even when it is not refrigerated.
Nutritive Value: Sbrinzes
The cheese is high in milk fat containing more than 55% of it. It contains an adequate amount of protein amounting to 31% as well.
The cheese is also known as the ‘Father of hard cheeses’.