Schabziger, sold under the name sapsago in the United States, is a traditional Swiss cheese produced in the Canton of Glarus in Switzerland. Records suggest the cheese was made by the monks of Glarus since the 8th century. But its recipe was formally protected on 24th April 1463 at the Glarner Landsgemeinde, when it was decided that in order for the cheese to be called Schabziger, it had to be marked with a stamp. This makes it one of the oldest protected cheeses in the world.
The cheese is produced from skimmed cow’s milk with addition of blue fenugreek, a type of clover which gives the cheese a pale lime colour. It is an extremely expensive herb brought to Europe in ancient times from the Middle East. At the last stages of production, Schabziger is molded into distinctive conical shapes and then wrapped in silver foil, ready to be sold.
Texturally, the cheese is dry, hard and aged while flavour wise it is pungent, spicy and delicious. If a milder taste is required, the cheese is mixed with butter to make a spread called Zigerbutter. The cheese is used in cooking as a condiment or as a dipping similar to the Dukkah. It is also grated over food or the butter-mix paste is spread over bread or crackers. The cheese is high in protein and almost fat-free.