Produced by the Stadelmann family in the Toggenburg region of Switzerland, Selun, which is named after a local mountain, is a relatively new creation inspired by the French cheese St Nectaire.
Traditionally, cheesemaking in Switzerland followed strict regulations in terms of the variety of cheeses that could be made. However, over the course of the last three decades, a shift has taken place and now several innovative cheesemakers have created entirely new cheeses, one of which is Selun.
During the 1980’s the Stadelmann family, who were producers of Tilsiter, decided to break away from the Tilsiter consortium and create their own organic range of cheeses.
The operation is now run by Thomas Stadelmann. Thomas uses cow’s milk sourced from organic, local herds which he thermalizes (heat treats) for cheesemaking. (Thermalized milk is heated to a temperature between that of raw milk and pasteurization.)
For production, the curd is inncoluted with a culture called brevibacterium linens and, after coagulation and draining, the curd is cut into strips that are placed into the cheese molds and allowed to drain further.
After a few hours, the young wheels are unmolded and placed in a brine (salt water) solution for three hours, before being transferred to a maturing room. There, they are matured for between 6-10 weeks, during which time they are washed twice each week with a brine solution. The brevibacterium linens culture already present in the cheese responds favorably to the salty environment, resulting in the cheeses developing a highly aromatic rind and a soft texture.
As a final touch just prior to release, each cheese is decorated with finely shopped hay flowers to form the word “Selun” and the distinctive crown image on its upper rind.
The texture is soft and yielding and ivory white. The rind is a pink-beige color and sticky. Although the aroma of Selun is powerful and stinky, flavors are rich, meaty and buttery, with notes of herbs, flowers and hay and a full cream-like finish.