It takes a bit of effort to pronounce Stillsitzer Steinsalz, it’s all about avoiding the tongue to curl. However, when that’s under control, you have in front of you a cheese you either love, or not. There are few in-betweens.
Tilsiter comes with a history
Tilsiter has been rambling around before some of it became Stillsitzer Steinsalz. This tour started in Holland, or the Netherlands of you like. Or was it Belgium? It is kind of borderline. People emigrated to East Prussia. To the town of Tilsit. Today known as Sovetsk, in the Oblast Kaliningrad, this Russian enclave between Lithuania and Poland. Did change its name in 1946, though, probably as a post-war celebration or something. At the time, well known for its rather opulent tasting and smelling cheese. To-day, not. But the name persists. And the cheese style as well, even though Tilsiter is not a uniform term.
STILLSITZER STEINSALZ ER ET MERKE
Stillsitzer Steinsalz is not a style of cheese, it is a brand. But it is a more or less typical Swiss Tilsiter style. Originally Tilsiter was a cheese à la Limburger and Herve. That’s what the Dutch brought along when they emigrated. Typical stinker. And it has partly survived a such. In northern Germany for instance. They were two groups of people that came to Tilsit; Swiss and Dutch. After a while the Swiss went home. Brought the recipe along and started making the cheese there. But as it oftentimes happens the recipe and subsequently the cheese were adapted to local tradition. Swiss Tilsiter is in other words, a mountain cheese. Semi firm. Wonderful to slice with a cheese slicer. Along with some country bread and butter, it makes wonders.
The Stillsitzer Steinsalz is made at a small dairy in Gähwiler, Toggenburg. That’s the St. Gallen area. The milk is brought in from local farmers twice a day, and Stephan Bühler makes cheese of it. And what a cheese he makes. What makes it stand out, is the use of non-iodine rock salt. It’s also in the name. That gives a characteristic flavour of herbs in addition to the rather opulent flavour of any Tilsiter.
In Switzerland, obviously. But I have observed it in London, and it is probably available in Germany a well, even though that is just an assumption. You have to look around. There are worse pastime.