Tasting Table TOP SHELF

Enjoy this story from our archive, originally sent to TT members on .

Dairy to Dream

Our burgers have fallen for a new cheese

We like Kraft singles melted in our burgers, and we are not ashamed.

But a new cheese has us questioning our loyalty.

Challerhocker, a Swiss cheese available online at Murray’s ($32 a pound; click here to buy), is a sublime cow’s-milk cheese from cheesemaker Walter Rass, who built his reputation on his wheels of Appenzeller, a hard cow’s-milk cheese that’s traditional in parts of Switzerland.

Not one to sit on his laurels, Rass branched out: The Challerhocker is like Appenzeller on steroids, with a higher fat content and depth of flavor thanks to additional aging and a wine wash.

When we first tried it, our taste buds reverberated with echoes of Goudas past. The echoes subsided to reveal a gentler, creamier character--salty and buttery, with a drumbeat of microscopic saline crystals.

When faced with such a delicious snack, it's a fight to save some for a burger dinner. Somehow we restrained ourselves and were rewarded: Added to a burger, Challerhocker melts into a beautiful hood, and the heat brings out roasty caramel notes that are up to the task of meeting meat on equal footing.

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