Roelli Cheese Haus was founded in the 1920s, when Adolph Roelli, a Swiss immigrant, landed in Lafayette County, WI. Four generations later, Chris Roelli leads the cheesemaking process in the exact same spot. In the past two decades, Chris has led Roelli cheese to shift its focus from industrial cheddar production to small-scale, artisanal production of American originals. With the recent completion of a state-of-the-art aging cellar, Chris’s production has doubled, and his repertoire continues to expand.
While making a batch of orange cheddar one day in 2011, Chris tipped an extra dose of annatto coloring—plus some blue mold spores—into the vat. The experiment yielded Red Rock, a loaf-shaped blue cheddar style with an unforgettably colorful appearance. Few piercings lend it a milder blue flavor, which is still punctuated by an earthy, all-natural rind that develops in the aging cave during a maturation of two to six months.
Colored with twice the amount of annatto found in a traditional Wisconsin cheddar and poked through the center to promote the growth of blue mold streaks, this cheese is has a striking, unforgettable appearance.
Flavor is creamy and complex, reminiscent of a cheddar but with a hint of blue at the finish.
Pair it with a roija, a zinfandel, or a small-batch bourbon.