Closely linked to Almnäs’ earliest history, Anno 1225 is a medieval-type cheese, crafted and aged using centuries-old techniques.
The cheese mold is made from a basket of braided wicker produced by the Latvian master basket maker, Astrida Smilktene. It is an accurate reproduction of the baskets made locally hundreds of years ago, some of which are on display in our regional museum in Skara, Västergötland.
At the Birmingham, England World Cheese Awards in November 2012, Anno 1225 received a Gold Award, of which we are very proud. It’s an interesting coincidence that during a summer internship at Almnäs, Astrida’s grandson, Janis, helped to make the batch of Anno 1225 that won the award.
Unlike our other cheeses, Anno 1225 is not washed with salt water. It is aged in its own storage facility, where the local fungi and yeast cultures can establish themselves freely on the surface. After a few weeks, the rind is covered with a natural mold and the only thing we do is to turn the cheese every three days. In this way, after 5 to 7 months of storage we get a cheese that is completely influenced by our local fauna. Each Anno 1225 weighs 3 to 4 kilograms (7 to 9 pounds).
As Anno 1225 settles down into its basket, it’s weight slowly imprints the traditional braided wicker patterns into the rind. Anno 1225 offers a slightly acidic, damp-earth smell, reminiscent of cellars and mushrooms, a subtle contrast to the tangy, fresh, light and creamy taste. The rind is edible, adding a complexity to the taste experience characterized by a slight bitterness and a drier mouth-feel.