Nine days ago we had the great chance to visit Switzerland. And that meant not only staying around Geneva, but travel around and visit some very interesting places.
One of them was La Maison du Gruyère, which is, using the original term, fromagerie de démonstration. Beside making cheese, these guys thought of making some money out of touristic purposes too. Not bad at all!
Besides the practical information and numbers you need to make an idea of how much milk they need for this cheese, you also get a chance to see how milk is processed and what is the end result.
This post will make a summary, but we strongly encourage you to pass by if you have the chance 😉
Our tour was guided by Cerise, the happy cow that gives milk to make this great cheese. It was composed of three spaces: the smell space, the milk space and the production space.
The smell (not smelly!) space gave us the chance to sniff the scents of all those magnificent plants a cow eats: purple clover, white clover, dry hay, thyme, vanilla orchid, etc. Very nice way of involving this sense in an exhibition 😉
The milk space gave us the numbers, so to say. Any idea how many kilograms of grass and how many liters of milk a cow needs a day to produce 25 liters of milk a day? Not more and not less than 100 kg of grass and 85 liters of water! Impressive, isn’t it?!
The production space gave us a glimpse of how the cheese is made. Those copper boilers (seen in the image below), have a capacity of 4800 liters of milk. After a long preparation, 4800 liters of milk will give 12 pieces of Gruyère cheese, each of them weighing 35 kilograms. That means that for every 35 kilograms of cheese, we need 400 liters of milk.
I will skip some steps and take you directly to the cellar, as you can see in the picture below. This is the place where the cheese will mature, being kept between 5 and 12 months.
Of course, by now, you’ve received the key information about such a place, but nothing compares to the real experience. It may or it may not be Gruyère, but if you ever have the opportunity to visit a fromagerie, don’t think twice 😉
Big thanks go to Ramo & Thedi for driving us and showing us the place. Chapeau! 😉