Finally, the flavor:
In texture and flavor, the 14-pound cheese resembles a cross between Parmigiano-Reggiano and aged Gouda, with a firm golden interior and aromas of butterscotch and orange peel. The wheels sent here are at least 8 months old, but Bay Area Whole Foods stores are selling Premium Reserve Hirtenkäse, matured for at least a year and identified by a black label.
Even at eight months, the cheese has developed some of the crunchy protein crystals found in Parmigiano-Reggiano. But additional aging makes the cheese creamier, not harder and dryer. It has a waxy texture – it even smells waxy – but it isn’t crumbly like Parmigiano-Reggiano or firm enough to grate. The flavor is concentrated, with the cooked-milk sweetness of a caramel.
The most intriguing part here is that the cheese becomes creamier when aged, which goes against the common thought/practice that most aged cheeses are dryer. Even if you don’t try this sandwich, I would definitely try this unique cheese.
It is fall and almost Thanksgiving so I thought why not use a fall vegetable for this grilled cheese? Whole Foods had a intriguing display for the delicata squash so I decided to use it instead of the more traditional butternut squash.