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 cheese goes beyond its borders, especially thanks to its famous Emmental and the no less prestigious Gruyère. These are the best-known Swiss cheeses, but there are many more.
Switzerland offers breathtaking beauty with an irresistible Alpine look that mesmerizes the Swiss themselves. In summer, high mountain meadows reveal a carpet of green grass with colorful wildflowers.
These meadows are the natural habitat of the most popular inhabitants of Switzerland, the cows. They are easily recognizable by the melodies of their leather necklaces decorated with bells that are heard when they walk peacefully in the fields. Cows have a surprising ability to move on steep land; sometimes they are called “the mountaineers” of cattle.
Cows and their alpine environments are deeply linked to the Swiss lifestyle. Thousands of years ago, cheese making in the Alps during the summer provided a means of storing milk and turning it into cheese for winter storage, providing villagers with an additional source of nutrition.
On summer season feeding while the cows feed, pastures in the low meadows grow back and flower again so the natural cycle is well preserved.
This tradition continues today, and the summer season feeding has even become a period of celebrations and festivities, in the regions of Freiburg, Appenzell or Valais, there are historical reconstruction, parades, events and even competitions resulting from this tradition such as the fights of the queens … The queen wins the title among the local race as the strongest cow, we often see her driving the guide proudly under the ringing of her bell.
The shepherds wear traditional Swiss clothing representing their region, adding a charm to the partying spirit of the event.
While walking in the regions of Emmental, Gruyère or Appenzell in Switzerland, one inevitably crosses dairies near the farms whose milk is immediately conveyed to them to keep all its freshness and taste once transformed into cheese, especially in summer when it is particularly tasty and fragrant, which gives a special aroma to its cheese. Most of the production of summer season never leaves the country and the Swiss really appreciate it. While dining in these villages, you can enjoy local dishes prepared with alpine cheese or on a platter containing several varieties of cheese…
Most of the time, the cheese factories in Switzerland are located on very old land, land 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, given the unmatched quality of the cheeses produced, the demand grew, which led to the industrialization of the production. Today, we can still visit places where we can see the evolution of manufacturing methods.
The fields, the cows, the farms, the cheesemongers and the cheese makers… are a pride for Switzerland, it is part of its heritage and the well-preserved know-how of the cheese makers will continue to make them evolve and produce the best cheeses.