Black Truffles

October 9, 2013 in Food

Black Truffles In Switzerland

Although France and Italy are world renown for their famous White and Black Truffles, Switzerland also is a known location where the “Black Diamonds” can be found. The Tuber Uncinatum can be found in most regions of Switzerland and have an aroma that is extremely fine. There is another “Truffle” in Switzerland, but those are made by the Chocolatiers and Confectioner…

Black Truffles Switzerland

The Truffles are searched for between the months of October right through to the end of January.Many years ago a female pig was used to search for Truffles but usually once found, the Truffle became the pigs food, eaten before the handler could get to the prized delicacy.

Today, most Truffles are located with the help of a specially trained dog as canines have an extraordinary perception of smells and odors. It has been said that any dog breed can be taught to discover Truffles, but there are some breeds that excel over others. Most notably are the following breeds who are as well used for narcotics detection, bomb detection, agriculture detection, etc. The most famous “Truffle Dog” breed is the Lagotto Romagnolo a medium sized dog with a heavy coat of hair. Other breeds used to search for Truffles are Belgium Malinois and more common is the Hungarian Vizsla which is a very versatile hunting dog.

There is a website dedicated to “Hunting Black Truffles” in Switzerland which describes in words and images the birth and training of a female Vizsla puppy named “Tuli” and their search for Black Truffles..

Vizsla puppies

Also well known in Switzerland is the legendary “Truffle King” Fredy Balmer from the Canton Jura.

His first contact with truffles had been as an apprentice cook. Fredy Balmer has since then been involved with Black Treuffles , be it looking with his two dogs, Tomi & Zizou or in the manufacturing and preparation of homemade truffle delicacies.  Over 40 years Fredy Balmer has been enjoying his passion for the black diamonds.

 

Gruyère Cheese AOC

February 11, 2013 in Cheese, Food

One of Switzerlands better known cheeses is the Gruyère Cheese, originating from the cantons of Bern, Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Jura respectively.

Facts about Gruyère Cheese

This alpine Swiss cheese is made with milk direct from cows fed on natural fodder such as grass in summer, hay and after growth in winter time. The use of additives during the manufacturing and maturation process is prohibited. The cheese is formed in a wheel like shape and generally weighs about 30-40 kg. This Swiss cheese is usually aged for a minimum of 10 months and gets better as it ages.

Le Gruyere Swiss Cheese

Le Gruyere Swiss Cheese

Le Gruyère Switzerland AOC

has many different varieties, with different aged profiles, and an organic version of the cheese is also sold.

There is a special variety that is produced only in summer on the Swiss Alps called the Gruyère Switzerland AOC Alpage.

Gruyere Swiss Cheese

Gruyere Swiss Cheese

Gruyère cheese is generally known as one of the finest cheeses for baking, having a distinctive but not overpowering taste. In quiche, Gruyère adds savoriness without overshadowing the other ingredients. It is a good melting cheese, particularly suited for fondues, mixed with Vacherin and Emmental.

This Swiss cheese is also traditionally used in French onion soup, as well as in croque-monsieur, the classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich.

Le Gruyère is also used in chicken and veal cordon bleu. It is a fine table cheese, and when grated, it is often used with salads and pastas.