The spicy Swiss friend is considered a rarity in Alpine cheese and is made in the Vaud Alps. L'Etivaz likes it warm and is therefore only made by hand over a fire in a copper kettle in the summer months. With a maturation period of between 4.5 and 18 months, it is made by hand from raw milk in just over a hundred alpine dairies between May and October. These amount to 17,000 to 19,000 loaves during the summer. A loaf can weigh between 15 and 35 kilograms. For summer, L'Etivaz comes in a paste color between ivory and light yellow. As a sliced cheese, L'Etivaz matures for at least 30 months and is sold in rolls. Due to the natural ripening time, its taste is even spicier and the dough is extra hard so that it is easier to slice.
Aromatically, it combines the flavors of the fine alpine herbs with a spicy, fruity and at the same time nutty note, varying from alp to alp depending on the cows' feed. Therefore, its particular strength lies in the natural environment of the Alpine flora in which the dairy cows live.
This full-bodied cheese also has something to offer historically, as L'Etivaz 2000 was the first Swiss cheese to be entered in the Federal Register of Designations of Origin and Geographical Indications (AOC).
Recipe of the month: Cheese toast made from gingerbread bread with L'Etivaz AOP and chicory
The L'Etivaz AOP goes very well with nuts and rocket. L'Etivaz develops its distinctive aroma perfectly with figs, walnuts, melon and fruit chutneys. A little tip: take the L'Etivaz out of the fridge half an hour before enjoying it.
Ingredients for 4 persons:
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 clove of garlic
- 4 mini chicory (leaves)
- 8 slices of gingerbread bread
- 4 slices of L'Etivaz AOP
- salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a pan and add finely chopped garlic and crushed chicory leaves. Sauté until the leaves wilt and season with salt and pepper to taste. Then briefly toast the slices of gingerbread bread in the toaster until they are slightly crispy. Now cover one half of the bread slices with a slice of L'Etivaz AOP and the chicory leaves. Take the other half of the bread slice to cover and secure it with a toothpick. Arrange, serve and – bon appetit!