Switzerland

Appenzeller

Appenzeller is a Swiss mountain cheese that originates in the Appenzell region of Switzerland, near the Austrian border. It is bathed in a mixture of wine, spices and salt which produces an orange rind that is semi-hard and dry. This cheese has a fairly dense texture, with a rich, nutty and tangy flavor, which ranges from smooth and mild to full and rich, depending on how long it is aged. Appenzeller is one of the three cheeses, along with Gruyere and Emmental, that is traditionally used in authentic Swiss Fondue. There are three different types of Appenzeller:

  • "Classic" - Aged 3-4 months and wrapped in silver
  • "Surchoix" - Aged 4-6 months and wrapped in gold
  • "Extra" - Aged 6+ months and wrapped in black

Country: Switzerland
Region: Appenzell
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 3 months
Pasteurized: No

Gruyere

Gruyere is one of Switzerland's most popular cheeses. It is a name-controlled cheese made from cows milk and named after the town of Gruyere. It is now currently produced in the Fribourg region of Switzerland and made much in the same way as Emmental but in 80lb wheels rather than 200lb wheels. The flavor is complex, rich, sweet, nutty and caramelized with a lingering but not sharp flavor. It is an extremely popular Swiss cheese that is also an ingredient in traditional Fondue. There are three different types of Gruyere:

  • "Classic" - aged a minimum of 5 months
  • "Reserve" - Aged 10 to 16 months
  • "d'Alpage" - Taken from the Tarines cows from the months of May to October and aged for 5 to 10 months.

 

Country: Swtizerland

Region: Fribourg
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 5 months
Pasteurized: No

Le Gruyere d'Alpage is considered to be highly flavorful and the prized version of Gruyere. Gruyere is also a term used to describe mountain cheeses as a whole, particularly referencing some of the mountain cheese produced in France such as Comte and Beaufort. Because Gruyere is a name-controlled cheese, the French cousins cannot be named Gruyere. Additionally, French Gruyere style cheeses must have holes in them and Swiss Gruyere does not.

Le Marechal

Le Marechal is a raw cows milk cheese produced exclusively at the Fromagerie de Granges-Marnard Dairy in the town of Corcelles-AUX-Payernes in Switzerland. The cheese is manufactured in copper cauldrons with milk delivered twice a day to the creamery and pressed in hemp fabric and wooden vats.  The cheese is then covered in thyme, oregano, and other country herbs and aged in caves for about five months. The flavor is strong and nutty that resembles most to a sharp Gruyere with undertones of the herbs.

Country: Switzerland
Region: Corcelles-Aux-Payernes
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 5 months
Pasteurized: No

Piz Bever

Piz Bever is a Swiss mountain cheese produced in, Graubuenden, Switzerland's largest and easternmost canton. Made from unpasteurized cow milk in dairy farms at over 1000 metres above sea level, it is a hard, alpine cheese with a rich, nutty, and slightly tangy flavor. White to ivory-colored pate with a slight scattering of small holes or "eyes", and a brown to red washed rind. There are two versions of this cheese:

  • Piz Bever Classic: Aged 3-4 months
  • Piz Bever Extra: Aged at least 6 months

Country: Switzerland
Region: Graubuenden
Texture: Semi-Hard
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 3 months
Pasteurized: No

Raclette

Raclette is a highly aromatic cows milk cheese and is famously known as a great coking cheese. It is a semi soft cheese that is made in wheels that are approximately three inches high and 15 inches in diameter. Its pate is straw colored and creamy. Its rind is sticky and fragrant. Its flavor is nutty and earthy. It is produced both in the French and Swiss Alps and is similar in flavor and texture as Moriber and Fontina. Because it is a great cooking cheese, Raclette is typically melted into dishes. In fact, its name derives from racler, meaning to scrape. Traditionally, the cheese is cut and heated so that it can be scraped off and mixed with potatoes, vegetables, onions and sometimes meat. 

Country: France and Switzerland
Region: French and Swiss Alps
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 8 weeks.
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Tete de Moine

Tete de Moine is a semi-hard, raw, cows milk Swiss mountain cheese. It has a small cylindrical shape that closely resembles the shape of a coffee can. It is the single exception to the rule that all mountain cheeses are large. The cheese literally means "Monk's Head" and its name is derived from the former Monastery of Bellelay in the Swiss Jura.  It is also referred to as "Bellelay", the town where it's now produced.  This cheese is fairly robust in flavor that tastes nutty and beefy with a background of sweetness and saltiness. It is one of the strongest of the Swiss cheeses. It is traditionally eaten using a Girolle, a device similar to a knife that rotates in circles and creates shavings of the cheese in the shape of a rosette. This allows air to come into contact with the cheese, releasing its aromas and enhancing its flavor.

Country: Switzerland
Region: Parts of Franches Montagnes, Moutier, Porrentruy and Courtelary in the Swiss Jura.
Texture: Semi-Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 3 to 4 Months
Pasteurized: No

Le Tonneau

Le Tonneau is a relatively new cheese from Switzerland that is made in the shape of a barrel (tonneau in French means barrel). It is an unpasteurized cows milk cheese that has typical flavor and texture characteristics as most Swiss cheeses possess. It is semi-soft and dense in texture with a full, fruity, nutty flavor with a slightly tangy finish. It is a slightly aromatic cheese with a full and robust flavor that is aged for approximately four months. It is a great snacking cheese but may also be used to melt and mix with other traditional Swiss cheeses for fondue.

Country: Switzerland
Region: Western Switzerland
Texture: Semi-Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 4 months
Pasteurized: No

Vacherin Fribourgeois

Vacherin Fribourgeois is a Swiss AOC cheese from the Fribourg region of Switzerland. It is a semi-firm cows milk mountain cheese. Its texture is somewhat elastic with a straw colored pate and a rich, nutty flavor. It can replace the traditional Swiss mountain cheeses for fondue recipes but is also an ideal table cheese. There are six classifications of this cheese:

  • Classic - aged: 6-12 weeks
  • Extra - aged: at least 12 weeks
  • Rustic - aged: 12-25 weeks
  • Alpage - aged: 12-25 weeks
  • Mountain - aged 9-25 weeks
  • Bio (Organic) - aged at least 9 weeks

 

Country: Switzerland

Region: Fribourg
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging time: At least 6 weeks
Pasteurized: No


Winzer Classic

Winzer Classic is an unpasteurized cow milk cheese from Switzerland. Exclusive to the cheese company, Emmi, it is produced in the artisanal way from only five dairies in Switzerland. During the maturation process, Winzer Classic is washed in red wine from the Valais region of Switzerland. This cheese was formally called Vignerons, commonly known as "winemaker's cheese". Aged for about 5 months, this cheese develops a rich and nutty flavor with a dense yet semi-soft texture. This cheese closely resembles the flavor profiles of the other mountain cheeses produced in Switzerland, such as Appenzeller and Gruyere.

Country: Switzerland

Region: Valais

Texture: Semi-Hard

Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: Approximately 5 months
Pasteurized: No