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Types Of Cheese From Switzerland

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August 14, 2017 / Swiss / By
ETG - Food For Thought

Switzerland is renowned for its high-quality, natural and tasty varieties of cheese. Like France and Italy, Switzerland has strict production guidelines and quality controls to make sure that the cheese making process of more than 450 types of cheese is a smooth process that ensures the high-quality cheese everyone expects. Some of the French cheeses are covered by PDO (protected designation of origin) while others are protected by AOC (Appellation d'origine contrôlée aka controlled designation of origin), some Italian cheese varieties are Denominazione di Origine Protetta (DOP) or PDO in English. In Switzerland, we have AOC and PGI (also known as IGP) which means Protected Geographical Indication.

Now, before talking about specific types of cheese from Switzerland, let’s discuss the general categories. In Switzerland, cheese varieties fall under four different categories: extra hard and hard cheese, semi-hard cheese, soft cheese and cream cheese.

Extra Hard And Hard Cheese

All extra hard and hard cheeses are cheeses with at least 45% of fat that are made from raw milk and that require a long ripening process.

Hard cheeses can be served sliced, cut, in fondue but they can also be used in cooking and baking.

Semi-hard Cheese

Semi-hard cheeses can be made from raw milk but also from pasteurized milk and they usually take between three to six months to mature. Some semi-hard cheese types are great for fondues while others are better for cooking.

Soft Cheese

Usually made from pasteurized milk, soft cheeses have a short ripening time and, most of the times, they are served as a dessert. There are two types of soft cheese – soft mold ripened cheese (white mold cheese) and smear soft cheese (brown-colored rind).

Cream Cheese

No rind and no ripening process, cream cheese is produced from pasteurized milk and it is particularly good in sauces, fillings, and dips.


After mentioning the categories, it is time to get into more details and talk about some amazing types of cheese from Switzerland.

 

Affineur Walo Le Gruyère AOC Extra Mature

Affineur Walo Le Gruyère AOC Extra Mature is a type of hard cheese aged for a minimum of 14 months. The flavor of Affineur Walo Le Gruyère AOC Extra Mature is fruity and floral and the texture is crunchy and silky at the same time.
Affineur Walo Le Gruyère AOC Extra Mature won numerous awards at World Cheese Awards it is considered one of the best cheese from Switzerland.


Affineur Walo Rotwein Sennechäs

Image source: AffineurWalo.ch

Affineur Walo Rotwein Sennechäs is another hard cheese from Switzerland. Matured in red wine for up to 10 months, Affineur Walo Rotwein Sennechäs has a smooth texture, a sweet aroma, and a strong, pungent flavor.

Affineur Walo Rotwein Sennechäs is a dessert cheese and it is great with fruity white wines but also a variety of red wines and strong beers.

 

Challerhocker

Image source: Challerhocker.ch

Challerhocker is made from thermalized milk and it is a type of cheese matured for at least 12 months after it is washed in spice and brine. The texture is dense, smooth and creamy. The initial aroma is fruity, nutty and fruit and the last flavor is salty and nutty. The cheese is perfect for cold winter months along with a glass of red wine.  

Emmental

Made from unpasteurized cow milk, Emmental or Emmentaler is a hard cheese with a hard, thin rind and holes in the middle that has a sweet aroma with fruity flavors. Emmental is hard to produce since the hole-forming process is very complicated. White wine and Emmental make a great pair. 

Gruyere

Named after a Swiss village, Gruyere is a semi-soft cheese made from unpasteurized milk. Gruyere’s rind is dry hard and with tiny holes in it. The color of the rind is brown and the color of the cheese is dark yellow. The initial flavor is fruity but later the flavors become more nutty and earthy. The process of making Gruyere is complex and it involves numerous steps, techniques, and temperatures.

Affineur Walo Käse Mit Schweizer Trüffeln

Image source: AffineurWalo.ch

Affineur Walo Käse Mit Schweizer Trüffeln is a gourmet type of semi-hard cheese with truffles that is aged for a minimum of six weeks. The truffle aroma and the incredibly creamy texture brought this Affineur Walo Käse Mit Schweizer Trüffeln numerous medals at World Cheese Awards.

Royalp Tilsit

Royalp Tilsit is also known as Swiss Tilsit is another semi-hard cheese made from pasteurized or unpasteurized cow milk. The pasteurized Royalp Tilsit has a mild flavor while the unpasteurized one has a strong, recognizable flavor. Matured for approximately five months, Royalp Tilsit is a light yellow cheese with a strong smell. The texture is elastic and firm and the strong aroma has spicy, creamy and mild flavors depending on the type of milk (pasteurized or unpasteurized) cheese making used in the process.

Sbrinz AOC

Image source: Sbrinz.ch

Sbrinz is an extra hard Swiss cheese made for hundreds of years in the center of Switzerland.  Sbrinz is the full-fat type of cheese made from raw milk that requires a lot of time to mature – 18 to 24 months. Sbrinz develops its full spicy, strong and tangy flavor after 24 months and it is traditionally served as an aperitif but can also be grated and added to pasta dishes, risotto or various gratin dishes. However, Sbrinz can also be cut into chunks or shaved into rolls and enjoyed at 18 months. At 18 months the flavors are less strong than at 24 months.

Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC

Image source: vacherin-fribourgeois-aoc.ch

The milk used to make Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC is cow milk that comes from Fribourgeois cows, a breed of cows that eat only Alpine grass and wildflowers during summer and late spring. During winter months cows are fed only alpine meadow.

The cheese has a buttery texture and nutty flavors with milk and hay notes. Only a small number of artisanal cheese makers produce this Swiss cheese and the six varieties of Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC are hard to find. The cheese is aged between six to 25 weeks, classic Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC is aged for six to 12 weeks, extra is aged for a minimum of 12 weeks, rustic is aged for up to 25 weeks, alpage is aged between 12 and 25 weeks, mountain is aged between nine and 25 weeks and organic is aged for a minimum of nine weeks.

Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC is particularly used in fondues but it is a great melting cheese that can be used on potatoes, vegetables and in grilled sandwiches.

Raclette

Another type of cheese from Switzerland and also a type of dish is Raclette. Since we already talked about raclette in a different article, we won’t do it again, but we highly recommend reading that article since it also includes a traditional Raclette (dish) recipe.

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