Friday, January 21, 2011

Let's go to Switzerland

Gruyéres, Switzerland

Alp Horns, Gruyeres, Switzerland
Gruyéres, SwitzerlandRiiiiicolaaaaa!  Yes, Ricola, the cough drop herbal remedy. That's what most people think when they see these guys with their alphorns.  Heck, I didn't even know what they were called until I went to Switzerland.  They were used for communication between villages in the alps.  Sometimes for people, sometimes for cattle. This is one of only two times I've ever seen them being used.  This is in the tiny town of Gruyéres.  This region in the alps is known for it's cheese and chocolate.  I ended up going on a tour of the cheese factory and it was very impressive.  The cows that they use for the milk roam the alps freely eating flowers, grass and herbs (some of the same herbs you find in Ricola).  This diet gives the cheese it's special flavor.  At the end of the tour they gave us 3 cheeses to try : each at a different stage of maturity.   It is definitely my favorite cheese.  Of course, every time I bite into a piece of it I remember the experience of being there.  I'm sure that plays into my love of this cheese.  At any rate, if you've never tried it, pick some up the next time you are in a good cheese shop. 

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