The Swiss are known for more than their fine watches, high mountains and a few other things such as the Red Cross and clandestine bank accounts. Well the latter seems to be coming to an end. Their cheese stand as strong as ever. Led by a few classics of course, but with quite a few not so known close behind and of no lesser quality.

Swiss = Quality

Switzerland is precision and quality whether it’s about cheese or anything else. So anything Swiss cheese you can trust it is hand made and of the highest quality. It is of course all the mountain cheeses such as Gruyère, Emmentaler, Appenzeller, L’Etivaz and Raclette. But right behind you can find Bündner Bergkäse from the east of Switzerland; Sbrinz from right in the middle; Tessiner Alpkäse from the south east; Tomme Vaudoise, a fine bloomy rind cheese from the south west; Tête de Moine and Vacherin Mont-d’Or from the Swiss side of the Jura. And finally Berner Alp- and Hobelkäse, Vacherin Fribourgeois and many more. Excellent cheeses all of them. And if you have not had them all, well, then you can look forward to many tasteful moments.

Tête-de-Moine (the monk's head), a fine and gentle cheese from the Swiss Jura.
Tête-de-Moine (the monk’s head), a fine and gentle cheese from the Swiss Jura.

Mountain cheeses

Many of these are typical semi firm to firm mountain cheeses, so perhaps you could hold against them they lack variety. But it is not true. They have their blues and they have their soft. Could be they have their Chèvres as well, but that I would not know.

I have tasted quite a few, but not all. One of those that is included in the not tasted yet is the Sbrinz. There is an anecdote about this cheese saying that the Italians crossed the Alps to buy this very special cheese. Finally they got so tired of crossing the mountains, especially during wintertime, that they sat down to copy it. The result being the much more famous Parmagiano Reggiano. That is how it is sometimes, the copy over shadows the original. If it’s a true story or not, I do not know, but the Swiss take great pleasure in telling it.

To drink

White wine mostly. If you think local white, I would suggest Valais. But then you have excellent wine right across the French border as well. Jura is very close, Burgundy is not that far away either, and they pair extremely well.

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