It’s a rock! It’s a truffle! No; it’s one of the most unique cheeses we’ve ever seen. Belper Knolle literally translates to “the tuber from Belp,” a nod to its iconic earthy appearance. (“Belp” is the Swiss town in which the cheese is made.)
First created in 1993, Belper Knolle is the invention of third-generation Herr Glauser, who runs a small dairy located in the small town near Berne. Raw milk is delivered directly to the dairy without being heated or cooled—instead, it’s made into cheese right away. Infused with garlic and rolled in ground black pepper, this cheese makes a statement on the eyes and the palate.
Aged 13 to 15 weeks, this small cow’s milk sphere, distributed by Jumi, becomes firm and flaky, rock hard in texture and impossible to slice, making it only suitable for shaving or grating.
Despite the dry paste, aged Belper Knolle has an amazingly intense flavor. The mouthfeel and taste are initially almost cream-like and then the full force of the spices kicks in. Herbal, garlicky notes run rampant.
Glauser specifically made the cheese with a view to grating or shaving and, for this reason alone, it is very popular with both home cooks and chefs. It's perfect for shaving over pasta, salad, steamed potatoes, or steak.