<Food and Drink of Switzerland

Cheeses from Switzerland

Making cheese in Switzerland has been a tradition for hundreds of years and there are somewhere in the region of 450 varieties of cheeses in Switzerland, the majority of them are cow’s milk cheeses,and about half of all the milk produced is turned into cheese, there are a tiny amount of cheeses made from sheep and goat’s milk. The best known cheeses outside of Switzerland are probably Gruyer, Emmentaler,Sbrinz,Tête de Moine, Raclette and Tilsiter,but there are many more and all are really exceptionally good and of very high quality.

Now on to the cheeses and of course the famous ‘Fondue’,which is eaten at any time of the year but is also associated with winter, apres ski and roaring log fires. Fondues have not lost their popularity in Switzerland and it makes for a great way to entertain guests without the hostess spending the night in and out of the kitchen worrying about the food, she is able to join in the fun. A mixture of about three different varieties of cheeses is mixed with a little kirschwasser and the melted mixture is placed over a burner to keep hot, chunks of bread are dipped into the cheese and eaten, to add to the fun if a man drops his bread from his fork he has to buy the next bottle of wine, if a lady drops her bread she forfeits a kiss! Another very popular cheese dish is ‘Raclette‘, traditionally a large raclette cheese is placed on a stand over a burner, the melted cheese is scraped off and is served with boiled potatoes and pickles or on a slice of bread, today you can have a raclette grill for the centre of the table which is a much smaller version and is flat, each guest will have their own pan to place under the heat to melt the raclette, these grills often come with a grill on the top for cooking small pieces of meats or sausages, it all makes for a fun way to spend the evening.

There are opportunities for visitors, who are interested in how cheese is made, to experience Swiss exhibition dairies. To find out more visit one of the websites below:-

‘Appenzeller Show Dairy: www.schaukaeserei.ch

La Maison du Gruyère: www.lamaisondugruyere.ch

Show Dairy Monastery Engelberg: www.schaukaeserei-engelberg.ch

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