The Swiss have long been known for the cheese-making prowess and, over recent decades, have also come to be recognised as arguably the world’s finest chocolatiers (even if the Belgians may beg to differ). There’s really no better way to enjoy the culinary delights of the Alpine country than to embrace these two traditions than taking a cheese tour factory tour before enjoying a chocolate tasting session, all against the backdrop of stunning mountainous scenery.
Without doubt the best place to get acquainted with the traditions of Swiss cheese making is the charming town of Gruyeres. Located at the foot of the Pre-Alps region, this picturesque medieval town has given its name to the country’s most famous cheese, and it continues to keep this tradition alive today. For the most informative insight into the history of Gruyere cheese, as well as how this has been brought into the 21st century, then head to La Maison de Gruyere. Here, at the foot of the town’s imposing castle, guests are invited to watch the process for themselves and learn all about the old traditions that have been passed down through generations over the centuries. And, of course, no tour is complete without a tasting session, with guests able to walk off the calories by strolling the treasure-filled corridors of the medieval castle and then the winding streets of the old town below.
After sampling the best cheese Switzerland has to offer, then it’s time to move onto the nation’s other favourite export, its luxurious chocolate. The good news is that one of the finest chocolatiers in the whole of Europe is just a few miles from the old town of Gruyere. Maison Cailler, located on the outskirts of the small town of Broc, has been making fine chocolate for generations, and now welcomes guests from all over the world right through the year. Visitors can hear expert chocolatiers talk their sweet-toothed visitors through every stage of the chocolate-making process, while also telling the story of the famous Cailler brand. Once the factory tour and history lecture is over, it’s onto the tasting, with tourists then able to take a little piece of Switzerland home with them from the gift shop.