3,000 cheeses and 25 meters deep, the La Grotte à Fromage invites you into the bowels of the earth. And all to impress a little mouse, you and us, certainly.
The Fort Knox of "Alpine Gold" is located in a hidden maisonnette in the delightful village of Gstaad. To discover the Holy Grail of alpine cheese, you’ll have to descend into the cave by a staircase, and finally, a very, very narrow stepladder. In this old water reserve, you’ll find the kind of setting as we like, "propre et en ordre" (clean and in order) as our Swiss friends would say. The wheels are all there, aligned on several floors, all beautiful and gilded. 60 cm in diameter and 14 cm in height, with a weight of 40 kg, precisely.
You might have a little olfactory seizure, a response to the delicious spicy odor and nothing is more normal. The cheese “à rebibes” (Sparen Kaese) comes from more than 50 regional producers and is refined here for 4 or 6 years with regular damp brushings. This cheese full of character is the result of a very beautiful ancient tradition. It’s to be made at the birth of a child and tasted at his or her wedding. For more than 500 years, it has been exclusively made in the pastures up in the mountains, according to the high standards and strict guidelines. Cows that produce this cheese can only eat what grows on the pastures (food supplements are prohibited), and 2 weeks before the animals climb up to the pasture, the farmer must have stopped the silage. The whole story will be told in detail during your visit to the cave.
Peckish? Tasting is required, especially the cheese à rebibes - which is cut with a plane in thin slices - and when accompanied by dried meat, it’s even better. Rest assured, it will not run out because, in Saanenland, there are almost as many cows as inhabitants. Phew! We were a little worried, it was really that good.
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