L'Etivaz Alpage AOC
L'Etivaz Alpage AOC
Origin: Vaud, Switzerland
Style: Unpasteurised, Alpine
Milk Type: Raw Cow Milk
L'Etivaz is made essentially as Gruyère was 100 years ago. It is made only when the cows are doing their summer grazing in Alpine pastures. It must be made in traditional copper cauldrons, and only over old-style, open wood fires. The resulting cheese is a bit creamier and less sharp than Antique Gruyère, yet smooth and flavorful. L'Etivaz has a firm texture with a fruity, slightly nutty flavor, which varies depending on the soil of the different pastures. It is yellow ivory in color and slightly sticky due to its saltiness. It is aged for 5 to 13 months before it is eaten.
The cheese is formed into a wheel, 40 to 65 cm (16 to 26 in) in diameter with a thickness of 10 cm (3.9 in) and weighing from 20 to 50 kg (44 to 110 lb). Originally, the cheese had a large distribution of tiny holes; however, the modern cheese rarely shows holes. One may see the occasional horizontal fissure under the rind. It is eaten at the end of a meal with raisins or fresh figs. Another excellent accompaniment is nuts and slices of pears.
HOW MUCH CHEESE SHOULD I BUY?
As a rule we recommend around 125-150 grams per person for after dinner and a little bit more is the cheese is the main attraction. Think of the typical block of butter you might buy at the supermarket, cheese and butter are approximately the same weight for size. A typical block of butter weight 250g.
If you're serving a larger crowd, hosting a buffet or plan on serving the cheese over a few days we recommend buying larger pieces of cheese. They typically keep better and larger pieces of cheese always look better when presented.
If you need help selecting your cheese then you can
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CARING FOR YOUR CHEESE
Your cheese comes wrapped in the perfect paper to protect it, the paper achieves the best balance between allowing the cheese to breathe and providing the right humidity. You can order Formaticum cheese paper from our Larder section.
Store cheeses in the darkest part of your fridge, wrapped in cheese paper, inside a small container. It will help prevent the cheese from drying out and stop it from absorbing any fridge odours. Cheese is alive, it needs a little bit of air movement, not a lot, and something to protect it from drying out.
SERVING YOUR CHEESE
Cheese straight out of the fridge can be flat and lifeless. Slowly bring the cheese up to room temperature while still in it's wrapping. Australian Summers can be brutal on cheese so reduce the time out of the fridge according the the prevailing conditions. Try to avoid placing cheese under air conditioning vents as it will dry the cheese very quickly.