L’Etivaz (lay-tee-VAH) is a strong, hard mountain cheese made using unpasteurised milk from cows that graze on the lush green Swiss mountain pastures between May and October. Like Gruyère, The canton of Vaud in the Swiss Alps is home to the picturesque hamlet of L’Etivaz. Each wheel expresses unique bold and fruity flavours which reflects the botanical diversity of the mountain pasture. The cheese is made large copper cauldrons over a wood fire, resulting in an ivory colour, a light smokiness and a slightly softer texture than traditional Gruyère.
A little history about L'Etivaz
This cheese evolved in the 1930’s from a group of 72 devoted Gruyère-loving families who felt the government regulations were allowing cheese makers to compromise the quality that made Gruyère so special. The co-operative created L’Etivaz using 100-year-old traditional Gruyère methods, including using only milk from the summer months when the cows graze high on the alpine pastures. In 1999 L’Etivaz was the first Swiss cheese to receive the protected designation of origin "AOC" (Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée)*. Strict standards need to be met: The alpine farms that produce this unique cheese must lie between 1000 and 2000 metres above sea level, cheese is made only between 10 May & 10 October and must be matured in the basement of the cooperative Etivaz for 5 - 13 months.
This artisan cheese makes its way to Australia via Käseswiss, a London based specialty cheese company founded by Zurich-based New Zealander Rachael Sills in 2005. They source the best Swiss cheese from small reputable suppliers and farmers in Switzerland.
*AOC replaced by AOP= Appellation d'Origine Protégée
Ingredients: Raw cow's milk, salt, cultures, animal rennet.