The Swiss cheese of your dreams

 cheese fondue

Gruyère  lovers, this post is for you. Saveur Magazine has just published a lovely article on a rare Swiss cheese that is produced using only very traditional Gruyere methods that date back centuries. Known as L'Etivaz, it is such a special cheese that it has and A.O.P. (appellation d'origine protégée) status bestowed by the Swiss government.

When you read the romantic description of how this cheese is made, you may want to run off to be a farmer in Switzerland. The process includes shepherding small herds of pampered cows, who graze contentedly on wildflowers in idyllic Alpine meadows. L'Etivaz producer Frédéric Chabloz describes it this way: "you're in this beautiful place, you're surrounded by nature and your children, you're listening to the cowbells all day long."

And the cheese is, by all accounts, sublime. Terms used to describe the cheese include 'smoky' and 'flowery'. The smokiness likely comes from the fact that the cheese must be produced in vats that are stirred over a wood-fueled fire The exacting requirements extend all the way to the type of cheesecloth that must be used (100% linen).

Now that you are salivating, let me be an enabler. You can order L'Etivaz in the US through Murray'sZingerman's plus other sources. Fromages.com offers shipping to several countries including the US, Canada, Australia, and UK (sorry New Zealand!). There may be additional options depending on where you live. The price, as you might expect, is not minimal; expect to pay nearly $40 USD/$37 EUR per pound.

Photo of Cheese fondue from Cheese: A Collection of Sweet and Savoury Recipes for Every Course by Georgeanne Brennan and Maren Caruso

2 Comments

  • Jenny  on  12/7/2016 at 9:07 PM

    I used gruyere in my pasta bake today -so good - I wish it weren't so expensive!

  • Rinshin  on  12/8/2016 at 4:26 PM

    My cholesterol reading just shut up. LOL. Love gruyere but never heard of or had L'Etivaz. Seems like a very special cheese for a special occasion.

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