What is Belper Knolle?
It's a magical, hard, peppery and garlicky cheese ball that you can grate over just about any dish.
The name just means 'tuber from Belp' (a town just outside of Bern), referencing its sort of knobbly potato-like appearance.
(There is actually a soft version as well, with a red label, but I especially like this hard variety).
Who makes Belper Knolle?
The cheese and meat masters at Jumi, a company that specializes in sensational raw milk cheeses and alternative cuts of meat.
The two founders (blessed cheesemakers) are from the Emmental—Mike Glauser grew up in a dairy, and Jürg Wyss on a traditional farm—and started the company over a decade ago. They've been experimenting with new flavours and iterations of cheese ever since.
The cheese and meat are produced by local farmers, but supervised closely by the Jumi wizards, who then they take the products into their own care, maturing, ripening, flavouring, spicing, and tending to the cheeses and meat until they become unusual and delicious works of culinary art.
Where can I buy Belper Knolle?
In Switzerland, Belper Knolle is available at most good cheese shops—even our tiny Dorfchäsi sells it. You can get it at Bern's weekly market in the old town on Saturday morning, and at the Globus food hall.
What can you do with Belper Knolle?
Grate it over pretty much everything.
Belper Knolle with Roasted Veg
Slice up some zucchini, fennel, pepper and onions.
Toss in a bowl with a little olive oil and salt.
Spread on a baking tray and bake at 200 C / 400 F / gas mark 6, for about 30-40 minutes or until tender. Once they are out of the oven, grate a generous portion of Belper Knolle over top.
Belper Knolle Spaghetti
The Belper Knolle website has a super simple recipe for spaghetti.
Basically, cook your spaghetti noodles, douse with butter, and give a generous grating of the Knolle. They claim it's better than any sauce...
Scrambled Eggs à la Knolle
I think that a big plate of soft and custardy scrambled eggs are one of the best things you can eat. However, add a generous grating of Belper Knolle and you will be in scrambled egg heaven.
Crack a bunch of eggs into a pan and turn the heat to medium. Add a knob of butter.
Slowly break up the yolks and swirl them around. Keep over medium-low heat until the eggs start to cook and curdle. Just before all the liquid is cooked, when they are just slightly under your perfect cooked consistency, add a splash of liquid (water, milk, cream), which should stop the cooking.
Season with salt, pepper and some Knolle.
(I once saw Gordon Ramsey do this scrambled egg cooking method on TV, and I have never gone back to my old ways of overcooked eggs in a super hot pan.)
Other foods that would benefit from a grating of the Knolle:
Pretty much any pasta or cooked vegetable dish
Fondue (cheese on cheese)