Each country is marked by prejudices in the collective unconsciousness. Switzerland will not have you joke on its banks, watches, chocolate, ski and obviously cheese. Did you say cheese? Swiss of course!
Nothing is more Swiss than cheese
Switzerland’s reputation is noteworthy, with traditional products such as chocolate, watches and cheese contributing significantly to the positive image of the country.
Indeed the reputation of Swiss cheeses is very good with regard to their natural and taste qualities, the safety, the requirements and the very high standards of the environment of their production…
The Swiss cheese maker aims only at perfection by monitoring the quality during the handcrafted process of processing raw milk into cheese.
The four pillars to produce the best raw milk cheese:
– The know-how of the cheese maker
– The quality of the raw material i.e. milk
– The use of adapted lactic leavening agents
– Good conditions of manufacture and refinement
The result of this know-how is a long list of high quality cheeses that are categorized into several families:
– Extra hard and hard cheeses: they are made from natural raw milk. These are fatty cheeses (at least 45% of fat/ES) which have undergone a long period of refinement.
– Semi-hard cheeses: They are made with raw milk and are refined for 3 to 6 months, very popular for the preparation of hot or cold dishes; some are ideal for fondue, such as Vacherin Fribourg PDO or raclette. Others have a particular form or presentation style, such as rosettes de Tête de Moine PDO. Placed in a cool place, and well packaged, they can be kept for about two weeks.
– Soft cheeses: made from pasteurized milk. Their refinement period is only a few weeks since they have a water content of about 50%. There are two types of soft cheeses.
* Soft cheese with a floral rind: The typical representatives of this category are Swiss Brie and Tomme Vaudoise, their white rind is also edible.
* Soft cheese with washed rind: during the refinement period, they are washed or rubbed with brine which gives them their characteristic brownish rind. Vacherin Mont-d’Or is a perfect example.
– Fresh cheeses: Made from pasteurized milk, they have no rind and are not refined. They can be eaten immediately after their manufacture. They have a variable fat content. The most famous varieties are: Cottage cheese, le séré, Mozzarella, Petit Suisse, crème and double-crème.
There are many uses of fresh cheeses in the kitchen. They are used for example for sauces, gratins and stuffing.
– Cheese from goats and sheep: They are soft or semi-hard. They owe their growing popularity to their intense and authentic aroma, and the fact that goat’s milk is more digestible than cow’s milk because of the structure of its proteins and fats. As for sheep milk, it is characterized by its content of orotic acid, a vitamin with extremely valuable properties for health: it produces high quality nucleoproteins and thus acts as a regenerating agent for aging people.
More and more people are allergic to cow’s milk, and goat’s and sheep’s cheeses are often a very digestible solution.
Some examples of some of the best known Swiss cheeses are:
In the first place, the undisputed Emmental PDO which can have different degrees of refinement, there is the sweet, Classic, Reserve, Extra.
Gruyère PDO comes in second with the taste of the Swiss since 1115.
Appenzeller, Berner Alp- und Hobelkäse, Bünder Bergkäse, The Evitaz PDO, Swiss Raclette, Sbrinz PDO, Tête de Moine PDO, Tilsiter, Tomme Vaudoise, Vacherin Fribourgeois PDO, Vacherin Mont d’Or PDO; are some famous examples of the wide variety of Swiss cheeses.
Swiss raw milk cheeses
The cheese in Switzerland has a long story. Its success has passed through the centuries and its quality is a worldwide reference. Its image and reputation continues to shine thanks to its raw milk which is milk that has not been heated to more 40 ° C or subjected to treatment that has an equivalent effect.
Cheese dairy in Switzerland
Most of the time, the cheese factories in Switzerland are located on very old lands, lands where cheese making was born centuries ago through a manual process while the cheese industry was still limited to small farmers who processed their milk themselves. Little by little, thanks to the exceptional quality of the cheeses produced, the demand was growing, which led to the industrialization of the production. Today, we can still visit places where we can see the evolution of manufacturing methods.
Swiss cheese list
The list of the Swiss cheeses is long and has many varieties. Even among the best known cheeses in the world as Emmental or Gruyère, there are several cheeses.