Yesterday we ventured south into Bad Tolz at the base of the Alps for the annual Genuss und Kasefestival (Gourmet and Cheese Festival). Here you can find everything that is cheese and its associated companions such as wine, breads, dips, spreads and even meats. There were wheels of cheese the size of small children and even the animals that the cheese came from. However, much to my surprise and disappointment, the Genuss and Kasefestival does not include cheesecake. Emily claimed that if they had cheesecake, they may as well have pizza. I disagree.
The cheese makers were separated into small booths and there was every type of cheese imaginable, all with free samples. We roamed the festival and tasted as many samples as we could. During the festival, we pondered the fact that knowing the German language would be a major benefit as we walked around, unable to interpret a lot of the signs indicating the style and flavour of cheese. Instead, we sampled cheese blindly, appreciating it for the flavour alone, rather than having any preconceptions based on its description. You could say, it was a true test of its taste.
We came up to one booth that seemed to have generated some interest with many people gathered around. We grabbed a couple of samples and tasted the cheese. It was very creamy but with a more mild flavour than what we have experienced. We looked at the brochure which had a picture of a horse with the words ‘Einzigartig mit Stutenmich’. Interested to know what kind of cheese this was, I typed the words into my translator as Emily went back for another sample. As, it turns out, the picture of the horse was there for a reason, as it translated to ‘Uniquely with Horse mare milk’. That’s right... HORSE CHEESE.
I’ve had goats cheese and even tasted sheep cheese but to me, there is something fundamentally strange with horse milk. Think about it. Have you ever seen a horse with udders? How do you even milk a horse? Where do they even milk horses? Does horse cheese still count as dairy? I couldn’t help but feel a little bit wrong after eating horse cheese.
I went to the ice-cream stand to wash away the taste and the thought of eating horse cheese but it still lingers with me. For all I know, I was probably eating horse ice cream and didn’t know it.