Yak Milk Gruyère Cheese
In case you need convincing to eat cheese (not that many do), here’s some background on this Excellent Tibetan Yak Cheese
QUalities OF Yak Milk Gruyère Cheese
This aged Yak Milk Gruyère boasts that faint crystalline crunch that high-quality aged cheeses such as Parmesan are known for. The taste is deeply nutty and has a sweet, fruity tang; nice salinity; and a good bit of earthy funk. Gruyère is also one of a very few cheeses, Swiss or otherwise, that functions just as well in cooked applications as it does on a cheese plate. The natural, rusty brown rind is hard, dry and pitted with tiny holes. The cheese is darker yellow than Emmental but the texture is more dense and compact. This yak cheese has a wonderful complexity of flavors - at first fruity, later becomes more earthy and nutty.
Yak cheese is a hit at the Midtown Manhattan Aldo Sohm Wine Bar and is considered a rare delicacy with great health benefits, according to Grub Street. Eric Frak Ripert, the French chef, author and television personality specializing in modern French cuisine, describes the cheese as having a complex and subtle flavor. “It’s much milder and more delicate than Parmesan,” he says. “In Beijing, it’s prized.”
Chef Eric Ripert describes the cheese as having a complex and subtle flavor. “It’s much milder and more delicate than Parmesan,” he says. “In Beijing, it’s prized.”
Traditionally a cultured, raw cow’s milk cheese, Gruyère originated in Switzerland, and has a local counterpart made in Wisconsin by the name of Grand Cru. This is very similar to a Gruyère. It is sweet but slightly salty. It is assertive, earthy, and complex. With aging it develops small cracks that impart a slightly grainy texture, and smooth, complex and big flavor common to world class aged Gruyère.
Uses for Yak Milk Gruyère Cheese
Like Gruyère cheese is generally known as one of the finest cheeses for baking, having a distinctive but not overpowering taste. In quiche, Gruyère adds savoriness without overshadowing the other ingredients. Blend it with Emmental cheese for fondue. It is a good melting cheese, particularly suited for fondues, along with Vacherin Fribourgeois and Emmental. It is wonderful used in French onion soup (Yak Gruyère Onion Soup recipe here), as well as in Croque Monsieur (Yak Gruyère Croque Monsieur recipe here), a classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich. This Yak Gruyère is also wonderful used in chicken and veal cordon bleu. It is a fine table cheese, and when grated, it an excellent addition to salads and pastas. It is also a great choice, grated, atop le tourin, a type of garlic soup from France which is served on dried bread. For wine pairings with affinities see below.
Prairie SKy Yak Milk Gruyère Cheese Recipes
Wine Pairings for Yak Milk Gruyère Cheese
Chardonnay: To pair a wine with Yak Milk Gruyere cheese, you could try a Chardonnay to go with it. This cheese provides a reasonable match to a broad selection of wines, though rich, oaky whites may be the favorite, including numerous examples featuring Chardonnay. We would also recommend a pair of Chardonnay grapes in the form of a Meursault - a large village in the Cote de Beaune sub-region of Burgundy - with a fine Gruyère.
Chardonnay is a ripe and crisp white with fruit flavors such as apple, pineapple and citrus, dry and bold enough to compliment our Gruyere without overpowering the subtle notes of the cheese.
Chasselas: The Swiss grape Chasselas is strongly associated with fondue, and will provide a good match for Yak Milk Gruyere. Examples of Chasselas from Germany, eastern France and other regions work well too, while the Petite Arvine grape variety tends to make more robust wines and will suit a raclette. Yak Milk Gruyere cheese is nutty with toffee hints and, like a Comté, is classically paired with the Sherry-like Vin Jaune, but will also be great with the whites mentioned above.
Red Wines: Beaujolais or Oregon pinot noir, pair perfectly with the rich, creamy fondu (see recipe below). My personal favorite for Bourguignonne fondue is VIETTI PERBACCO NEBBIOLO 2012, but this cheese is complex enough to compliment this big, smooth and complex wine, while providing a sound beef pairing. This is Italy’s latest must-have wine and completes with many world class wines of a much higher Nebbiolo fans, you are in luck! Vietti’s 2012 Le Perbacco will accompany your Bourguignonne fondue to perfection. The wine’s structure means doneness should be at the rare end of the scale, in which case the wine will sing. Carafe and serve at between 16 and 17°C.
Origin of Yak milk cheese
Made from the milk of female Yak, or “Dri”, common to the Himalayas living at altitudes between 10,000 to 17,000 ft. Tibetan cheese is a staple food in Tibetan cuisine. This type of hard cheese is called chura kampo and our cheese most resembles a quality, aged Gruyère.
Tibetan cheeses also includes soft cheese made from buttermilk, called chura loenpa. Extra hard cheese, made from solidified yogurt, is called chhurpi, and is also found in Sikkim and Nepal. Another type of cheese called shosha or churul, with a flavor that resemble Limburger or Gorgonzola, is made from cream and the skin of milk.
Making Yak Gruyère
To make Gruyère, raw yak milk is heated to 34 °C (93 °F) in a copper vat, and then curdled by the addition of liquid rennet. The curd is cut up into pea sized pieces and stirred, releasing whey. The curd is cooked at 43 °C (109 °F), and raised quickly to 54 °C (129 °F).
The whey is strained, and the curds placed into molds to be pressed. After salting in brine and smearing with bacteria, the cheese is ripened for 10 months at room temperature, generally on wooden boards, turning every couple of days to ensure even moisture distribution. Long curing produces a cheese of intense flavor.
The affinage cellars are an important and the longest part, of the production of the Yak Gruyere. The affinage is French for maturation.
Accordingly, to mature a Himalayan Gruyère the cellars must have a climate close to that of a natural cave. This means that the humidity should be between 94% and 98%. If the humidity is lower, the cheese dries out. If the humidity is too high, the cheese does not mature and becomes smeary and gluey. The temperature of the caves should be between 13 °C (55 °F) and 14 °C (57 °F). This relatively high temperature is required for excellent quality cheese and is particularly important for aged cheeses. Lower quality cheeses result from temperatures between 10 °C (50 °F) and 12 °C (54 °F). The lower the temperature is, the less the cheese matures, resulting in a texture that is more crumbly.