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Sbrinz AOP

Geographical Region

The geographical region includes the cantons of Luzern, Schwyz, Ob- and Nidwalden, Zug, the district of Muri (canton of Aargau) and the municipalities Obersteckholz, Lotzwil and Langenthal (canton of Bern). In the districts of See, Gaster and Neutoggenburg of the canton of St. Gallen the milk draw areas of the cheese dairies Walde, Steinenbrücke and Schönenberg.

Production

Sbrinz PDO is today manufactured commercially in selected cheese dairies in the valley and on the Alps. For the production a loaf of Sbrinz PDO of 45 kilos, a little over 600 litres fresh raw milk are necessary. The feed rations of the milk cows consists mainly of grass (in summer) and hay (in winter). Ensilage of all kinds is prohibited. The recipe has been passed on for centuries: Raw milk, salt and rennet. After the cheese manufacture the loaves are stored for at least 15 days in a salt bath and conserved. Subsequently the cheese is first matured in drying and left to sweat in a moderately heated cellar, then, in a colder storage cellar it is stored dry upright and cared for for at least 16 months until it has reached consumption maturity.

History

According to records in the Record Office in Bern the hard cheese manufactured traditionally in Central Switzerland was already in the 16th century brought to Brienz, the most important transshipment point, in order to be exported from there. Different historical sources mention that the Italians named the cheese after the trade centre Brienz, thus letting the designation Sbrinz come into existance.