[Sca-cooks] z?ger?

Stefan li Rous StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Thu Sep 2 16:44:34 PDT 2010

Katherine replied to my question about z?ger with:
<<< Hi Stefan

Oh phooey, I forgot about the diacritical marks again.  The word and
zu:ger (zueger)

Zu:ger apparently is a variant spelling and the word is more often
written, found, and referenced, from my experience anyway, as ziger.

Katherine >>>

er, okay. But that still doesn't tell me what "ziger" is.

Unfortunately, a google search isn't being particularly helpful, unless this might be a type of cheese. In that case, it is interesting and even period.

Schabziger is traditional cheese exclusively produced in the Canton of Glarus in Switzerland. Schabziger is made out of the skimmed cow milk and a special kind of herb, blue melilot(Trigonella caerulea), also called blue fenugreek.

The milk and melilot sap are heated to 90°F or 32°C then an acid (lactic, citric or acetic) is added causing curdling. The whey and curd are separated. The whey is further curdled at 90°C and separated. The whey-condensate is called Ziger and is pressed into cones for 6 to 8 days. The cones are then dried for 2 to 6 months.

The resulting cheese is hard, green with a strong flavor and aroma. It is usually conditioned as cones of 100 g with a height of 5 cm. It contains less than 3% fat.

Schabziger is usually eaten grated, or mixed with butter to make an herb spread ("Ankeziger", "Zigerbutter") that is put on bread or sandwiches. It can also be used in fondue (Zigerfondue), or grated and eaten with noodles (Zigerhörnli) or rösti. A cone of Schabziger can be conserved for weeks in the fridge.

Schabziger was first manufactured by the monks in Glarus, in the 8th century. The exact specification on how to make this cheese was laid down during a Landsgemeinde in 1463. The cheese also has to bear a stamp of origin, making it one of the earliest protected brands.
Schabziger is produced exclusively by Geska (Gesellschaft Schweizer Kräuterkäse-Fabrikanten). It is sold abroad under the name Swiss Green Cheese. In the US it is also sold under the brand Sap Sago. Sap Sago was introduced into New York pharmacies in the 1800s. The name is a corruption of the word Schabziger (pronounced similar to "shap-sigeh" in German), though folk etymology has it that the green herb juice used made to make the cheese was called "sap", as in tree sap.

So while we were talking about fancy butters recently, presumably for spreading on breads, this ziger might serve the same purpose, although more research may be needed to prove it was used as a spread on bread in period.

How about one of you cheesemaking experts here trying to make this?

THLord Stefan li Rous    Barony of Bryn Gwlad    Kingdom of Ansteorra
   Mark S. Harris           Austin, Texas          StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
**** See Stefan's Florilegium files at:  http://www.florilegium.org ****

More information about the Sca-cooks mailing list