Mardi Grass: the Power of Ageing
Yes, you read that right: Mardi "Grass". But, don't let the dubious name of this cheese put you off: this is an example of the power of ageing.
Mardi Grass is made by Samuel Traschel in the town of St Gallen, south east of Zurich, Switzerland. There he makes AOP Gruyère and Sbrinz. But Samuel was never completley satisfied with making just these AOP cheeses, so he took the recipe of Gruyère, made smaller wheels, and aged them for 18 months, and named it Mardi Grass to reflect that: it is made of whole milk (gras in French is fat); it is a 'hiding' a Gruyère (like a carnival mask); and that the cows only eat mountain hay and grass (just like AOP Gruyère).
What you get with Mardi Grass is a Gruyère with a bump: nutty, creamy, grassy and strong but not bitter.
If you're a fan of Gruyère, this is for you. If you're a fan of strong cheese, such as Red Witch, this is for you.