August 1st is Swiss National Day! Come in and celebrate in true Swiss fashion with us this week with a beautiful plate of cheese.
Switzerland has been making cheese for a long time...a really long time. It is claimed that the Swiss cheese Sbrinz is the oldest of all the European cheeses, with evidence of it being made as early as 70 AD and is remarkably still being made to this day.
Despite such a rich history, the Swiss Cheese Industry ran into trouble in the late 90's when the once proud Swiss Cheese Union, a governing body that had a monopoly on the industry for decades, started falling apart at the seams. The Union had gotten too big for it's britches, with a string of scandals (bribery and breaking international trade law to name a few) coming to light in 1996. By 1999 the Union was dissolved.
For Swiss Cheesemakers this was a huge blessing, as regulation and corruption had stifled the industry to the point where only three styles of cheese were Union approved (Emmental, Gruyère, and Sbrinz). This is shocking considering that before the First World War (following which the Union was created) Switzerland was home to hundreds of styles.
In the last twenty years or so the Swiss Cheese Industry has grown from strength to strength and now has over 400 different cheeses to it's name. Unshackled from regulation, Swiss Cheesemakers haven't been wasting their time.
So next time you think of all Swiss cheese as that mild sweet holey stuff you find at the supermarket, think again. That is Emmental, certainly a beautiful cheese, but just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the incredible variety and flavours discoverable in Swiss Cheese.
We have three amazing Swiss Cheeses in stock for you to try. The tantalising Tête de Moine, the velvety Vacherin Fribourgeois and, new to the shop, the magical Le Maréchal.