Suurchäs, Surakas, Sauerkäse
Bloderchäs is an alp cheese, made from skim cow’s milk, using acid coagulation.
This cheese is typically produced in the regions of Toggenburg, Rheintal and in Liechtenstein. In 2010 it was registered as a PDO (Protected Designation of Origin), comprising bloderchäs and sauerkäse, which has the same production process but is aged for at least two months, whereas the aging period of bloderchäs is 21 days or less.
The PDO stipulates that the milk has to undergo thermic treatment, while the most traditional version is made with raw milk, left at 25 degrees Celsius for 7 hours, to give the milk the time to coagulate without adding rennet. The curd is then cut and heated again, placed in square molds and pressed. During the aging period it is regularly salted and washed with a water and salt solution.
The cheese making tradition of this area dates back to medieval times, as does the acid coagulation method. Additionally, the geography and climate of the place make travelling between valley and alp difficult, which is why the farmers were obliged to transform the milk inside the mountain huts, leading to the production of bloderchäs, requiring the milk to be processed within a maximum of 24 hours. There are few producers still using these artisan methods and raw milk. Some of them, however, still use exclusively wood fire to heat the milk.