CAVE AGED TO PERFECTION
Switzerland—one of the smallest countries to deliver some of the biggest flavours—and Cave Aged Kaltbach Le Gruyère AOP leads the way.
“It all begins with the milk,” says Joe Dal Ferro, president of Switzerland Cheese Marketing Inc. “Swiss cows are pasture fed a diet of fresh grass or naturally dried hay—nothing else. This results in a very high quality milk that forms the base for our cheese.”
Switzerland Cheese is naturally delicious. It is guaranteed GMO free. In fact, the use of GMOs is strictly prohibited in Switzerland, and it’s also lactose and gluten free. Well over 60% of Switzerland is agricultural pastureland, the majority of which is occupied by family run farms. Almost 80% of these farms have less than 30 cows, each meticulously cared for. Switzerland boasts one of the highest standards of animal welfare in the world. This all translates to high quality, mouth-watering cheese while helping to preserve the beauty and integrity of the country’s cows, pastures and grasslands.
“Most Swiss cheese, including our Cave Aged Kaltbach Le Gruyère, are produced from unpasteurized milk under the strictest health and safety guidelines,” continues Joe. “This natural method is what gives our cheese its rich, buttery flavour.”
Cave Aged Kaltbach Le Gruyère AOP is made from four simple ingredients: unpasteurized cow’s milk, bacterial culture, rennet and salt. Rennet is a complex set of natural enzymes that separates milk into solid curds for cheese making and liquid whey.
“We’re proud of our AOP designation,” continues Joe, “a protected term of origin that represents a guarantee of quality, manufactured and processed in a particular area of origin.”
The real secret of Cave Aged Kaltbach Le Gruyère can be found right in its name. This cheese is aged for a minimum of nine months in a labyrinth of sandstone caves, complete with a meandering creek. The caves create a perfect environment for aging cheese and cave masters meticulously monitor the aging process.
Only the best dairy is suitable for this long and careful aging process. Three months after its production, the local Gruyère is inspected by Kaltbach cave masters who select only the best wheels for maturation in the Kaltbach caves.
Only once the cave master is content that the Cave Aged Le Gruyère has fully matured does it make its way to retail. Cave Aged Le Gruyère is famous for its fruity and tangy flavour profile and its signature dark rind.
Kaltbach Le Gruyère is a genuine classic among Swiss hard cheeses and it has been for a long time. The history of cheese making in the Gruyère region dates back to the 1100s. Its strong and smooth flavour that is neither salty nor sharp, and its crumbly nature makes it a favourite on cheese platters and a frequent award winner at international cheese competitions.
Like any fine cheese, Joe says that Le Gruyère is best enjoyed raw with some dried fruit and nuts and a glass of white wine. Le Gruyère is also known for its excellent melting properties, making it the go-to anchor cheese for fondue and countless other recipes.