Make cheese, not war


Since the end of the Cold War, military weapons stockpiles have been shrinking in size. This reduction in arms means that huge storage facilities – many of them underground bunkers – are being decommissioned. While rich people are converting missile silos in the American Midwest to upscale doomsday prep condos, companies in Switzerland have found a much better use for them: aging cheese

Culture magazine bring us the report on cheesemaker Gourmino, which needed and expanded space to age thousands of giant Alpine cheeses such as Emmentaler and Gruyère in a humid-yet-cool environment. The company found the perfect location in a picturesque Swiss valley. A series of caves-turned-bunkers that formerly housed weapons had been decommissioned by the military and was sitting idle. The caves are ideally suited to aging cheese although they required a bit of retrofitting to become cheese storage facilities.

After two years of planning the Gourmino team went to work. The first order of business was clearing out leftover ordnance like old hand grenades, followed by blasting a tunnel to connect the separate chambers. Then they commissioned a local artisan to make 30,000 cheese aging boards out of the area’s abundant spruce trees. The company constructed metal storage racks to hold the boards and wheels of Gruyère and Emmentaler.

Now over 6,000 wheels of cheese rest in the chambers, which have been designed with a concrete outer shell to protect the cellars from flooding while still allowing them to retain the high humidity needed to properly age the cheese. Wouldn’t it be nice if all of the world’s military storage spaces could be used for food rather than deadly weapons? 

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One Comment

  • Apricotcats  on  January 15, 2018

    Great, good news! Keep sending uplifting stories that remind me civilization is moving forward.

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