Switzerland is famous for its cheese and the traditions that make it some of the best in the world. Summer in the alpine region is when the farmers and cheesemakers bring their cows to graze on herbs and grass to create a milk rich in flavour and nutrition.
Alpine cheese has been made for centuries and according to Roman legend, Emperor Antonius Pius loved cheese so much he died after overindulging at the age of 75. Producing hard cheese was a simple way of preserving milk in the remote Alpine areas, and was also used as a trading product transported to Italy and Russia on the back of donkeys. It also provided basic nutrition in the harsh winters.
Little has changed over the centuries about how the cheese is produced. It is still handcrafted in small factories by traditional methods, with fresh raw milk transformed into a large variety of hard and semi-hard cheeses each day. What makes it special are the unique and varied types of cheeses and the treasured place they have in every Swiss household.
In Switzerland, people eat cheese throughout the day – with jam in the morning, as a snack in between meals, with salad and bread for lunch, with wine in the late afternoon, or with hot potatoes as the main meal. The Swiss also serve cheese as a traditional platter or melted as fondue or a raclette on a cold winter’s day.
In general, the Swiss eat a lot of hot and melted cheese during winter and cold cheeses from mild and creamy to strong and hard during summer. At the end of the day we believe in enjoying cheese with family, good company and fine wine.