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The Secrets of Swiss Cheese

Updated: Dec 12, 2022

The Best samplings of Cheese in Winter

Winterzeit ist Käsezeit, the Swiss might say. Wintertime means cheese time. And well it is indeed, for the Swiss know their cheese. In fact, as a Filipina, I didn’t quite know my cheeses—apart from that tin-foil wrapped one that came in a rectangular box from the supermarket, “Megamelt” being the only thing of special interest. I had no idea there was an entire world of cheese, and the Swiss taught me over time.

Here, learn about Switzerland’s favorite cheese melts in winter, plus two special Käse destinations in this mountainous country.

Cheese Fondue in Zürich
With the weather nippy and the nights long, Zürichers troop to restaurants like Frau Gerold’s by Hardbrücke or eCHo Restaurant at the Marriott. You could also stroll through Niederdorf and stop by places like Hotel Adler’s Swiss Chuchi, an accessible way to bring together a day of sightseeing and gastrotourism. Share a pot of flavorful and rich fondue with a loved one. Teeming in rich flavours, the dish can be made with Gruyère and Vacherin cheese from Fribourg, white wine, cherry liquor and garlic, as an example. It’s a heavy meal, so it is best to arrive hungry. Each serving comes with a giant bowl of diced bread for dipping. You can also experiment with side dishes like baby boiled potatoes or other vegetables.

Raclette comes as an innocent slab of cheese that is heated on a special pan, and then poured over like molten lava over a helping of petite potatoes, vinegared onions and baby corn and pickles. What makes it stand out is its strong aroma—what may be an aversion to some but a delight to many. Taste the tangy tartness of the pickled vegetables against the heavy cheese, which can be sprinkled with a special seasoning. Eateries such as Raclette Factory or Raclette Stube are located at Niederdorf, Zürich’s Old Town.

This dish is especially good in winter when the weather is freezing outside, and you can help yourself to a plate of hearty warmth. Not as weighty as the fondue, but can be, with enough potatoes. Can also be enjoyed at many a Christmas market.

Is there really such a thing as “Swiss cheese?” The famous cheese with holes depicted in cartoons and logos is what the Swiss know as Emmental cheese, produced with love and time in a rural town called Emmental, a stone’s throw away from the capital of Switzerland, Bern. Head to the Emmentaler Schaukäsereito watch the cheesemakers work on wheels of cheese with patience and precision. The milk is sourced from the regional farmers, the youngest cheeses taking four months to mature.

A bacteria in the cheese produces carbon dioxide, creating the holes that make this cheese so iconic. The AOP seal of approval (Appellation d’Origine Protegée) is present on Emmental cheeses, showing that it is a high-quality product sourced and created in the region of origin.

Head to the French-speaking region of Gruyère to complete our Swiss introduction to one of the country’s beloved creations. The cheese is named after the town and has a sharp, nutty bite, with a grainy texture that almost feels like a hard cheese that crumbles in your mouth—though not quite as dry as the Italian parmigiano. La Maison du Gruyère invites visitors to witness how the master cheesemakers produce 48 wheels of cheese daily, adhering to the high standards of the AOP.

This humble village is used to receiving visitors, seeing bus loads of tourists troupe in to also sample doppelrahm—heavy Gruyère double cream so rich that it pairs perfectly with fresh raspberries. You could also spend a night or two in one of the gothic hotels, with its low ceilings and wooden beams, a testament to its faithfulness to historical architecture.
To visit these destinations in Europe, secure your Schengen Visa in Manila, with FAVE Assist ready to share Visa tips for Filipinos. This wonderful winter vacation is possible once you obtain a Schengen Visa.

Contact us and Book your FREE consultation today.

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