If you haven’t tried, Etivaz, what are you waiting for?! It’s the “real Gruyere,” in the sense that it’s still made in the traditional way: in a copper cauldron over an open flame, whereas many modern day Gruyere making processes have become more mechanized. The hills come alive when you taste this cheese. It’s made by a young couple in mountain pastures at various elevations; hut hopping that’s very similar to Bitto, an Italian DOP cheese.
cheesenotes has more:
Socheese.fr has a great photo essay about a young couple, Eric and Sophie Gutknecht, who are making the famed AOC cheese Etivaz, one small, wood-fire heated, copper vat at a time:
Eric and Sophie, both 30, are part of a young generation of 70 Etivaz producers and spend 110 days a year in high mountain pasture. They have a well organised work schedule: two weeks in the lowest alpine hunt (1,530m), then two and a half weeks in the next (1,715m) and 6 weeks at the summit. Before going descending the mountain again, 10 days are spent in the alpine hut half way down and then another three weeks in the lowest hut. Then, it’s back to Moulin, near Château d’Œx, the couple’s ‘base camp’. All of the alpine huts are at least 200 years old, and have been extended and done up according to what work needed doing and how much money the couple had at the time.
The season for high mountain pasture, authorised for this prestigious AOC cheese, is from 10th May until 10th October, at a height of at least 1000m. With this time schedule, they are able to make 210 rounds of cheese (25kg each on average, 17kg the smallest, up to 36kg for the biggest). In winter, the milk is provided by the dairy in Moulin, which makes organic Gruyère.
Check out the full story here.
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