At first glance the small, round cow's milk cheese seems decidedly unexciting, one of the mild, semi-hard, ‘‘children’’ cheeses Germans apparently favor for their unobtrusiveness, the very opposite of the characterful, often pungent varieties their French neighbors like to make and eat. However, the intense orange color is unusual and the flavor special enough to find out more about it. Indeed, the Mööhrenlaibchen, literally ‘‘small carrot round‘‘, is a modern classic of the new German artisanal cheese scene. Its origin is at the Dottenfelder Hof near Frankfurt am Main, a renowned Demeter estate where the ideals of the anthroposophist Rudolf Steiner are put to practice. But Mööhrenlaibchen also taps into German history: a long tradition of coloring cheeses (for various reasons), as well as vegetarianism and the Lebensreform movement that formed as a countertrend to the heavy and rapid industrialization and urbanization at the end of the 19th century. The article explores the complex role the carrots play in this modern German artisanal cheese.
Mööhrenlaibchen: How the Carrot Got into the Cheese
ursula heinzelmann began cooking even before she learned to read. She worked as a chef and sommelier, ran her own hotel and restaurant, and opened an exclusive French wine and cheese shop. Now she is a freelance journalist writing about food and drink for various German and American publications. She is the author of four books. Heinzelmann cooks, lives, drinks, and works in her hometown of Berlin.
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ursula heinzelmann; Mööhrenlaibchen: How the Carrot Got into the Cheese. Gastronomica 1 August 2009; 9 (3): 48–52. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/gfc.2009.9.3.48
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