Gallery: June 26 — Museum in Stein

Some pictures from where we stayed in Appenzell (this is where I met up with my parents) and of a museum in the nearby town of Stein that illustrates Appenzeller history and culture, and in particular showcases the past & current processes of making the famous (and delicious) Appenzeller cheese.

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From Haus Lydia, where we stayed (on the eastern edge of town), you can see the local train curving out from Appenzell station and thence up behind the Haus to Hirschberg station, a little platform conveniently close by.

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Haus Lydia out front.

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The farmhouse one walks by to get to Hirschberg.

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At the museum, Appenzeller cheese is actually produced, and the public can view the production process from above. This is a big curdlevat and it has two huge rotating stirrers/scrapers within, which is why the interior space of the vat has the double-circle shape.

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Here are the curds being set into an array of drums that will become the wheels of cheese.

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The vat after being emptied of curdulation. Coppery!

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Now you can see the individual drums. Next to the open trough is another trough in which the curds are being compressed by the trough cover.

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The cover has been transferred onto the near trough.

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The vat is being refilled for the next round of curdletation.

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Here's a wheel of cheese after compression in the trough; now I guess it's ready for the curing process.

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The museum also contains a lot of artifacts showing how Appenzeller cheese used to be produced before mass production and some of its cultural context. Here's a cut-open house with a setup for cheesemaking; sometimes you can see this actually happening there.

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Various stages of making a basket (a cheese basket)? On the back wall you can see the individual components.

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The industry is completely portable!

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A closeup of the cut-open house: note the 7-shingle-deep cladding.

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Appenzeller farmers with the (enormous) bells that are meant to be worn by the main cows of the herd. They are doing some kind of ceremonial dance here, the precise reason for and nature of which escapes me.

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A bedroom.

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Every rose has its tetanus.