May 7th, 2017, 10:12 AM

Cheesing Through Switzerland

By Taylor Manley
Nestled in the Swiss Alps, the town of Grindelwald has more to offer than its story-book setting and outdoor activities. It has fantastic cheese.

Stepping off the train on a brisk and snowy winter afternoon, my parents and I were eager to arrive in the town of Grindelwald for a getaway filled with skiing and exploring the views this place has to offer. Little did I know, one of the world's biggest cheese fanatics — me — was also going to be surrounded by some of the best cheese that can be found anywhere.

Image Credit: Taylor Manley

First and foremost, one of the best aspects of Swiss dining is their love of fondue. Every restaurant that I went to had it on the menu. Originating in the 18th century to keep families full through the harsh winters, this tradition carries through to today, keeping visitors and locals stuffed and satisfied.

I couldn’t say no to this dish and had it as my first meal in Grindelwald. Warm cheesy goodness served with a side of bread and seasoned potatoes on a blue sky day in the alps — I couldn’t say no and neither will you. It gets even better. Forty minutes in a gondola, and 9,000 feet up in the ski lodge, the cheese follows you. Fondue is served all day. What more would you want after a day of skiing or snowboarding?

Image Credit: Taylor Manley

I highly recommend visiting the local cheese shops. Not only are the shop owners excited and proud for you to experience their cheese, but they also are more than willing to give you free samples of as many cheeses as you like when you ask. From potent and hard, to soft and creamy, all of the shops have a wide variety to offer of their best locally sourced cheeses.

On our last day there, my mom and I wandered into one more cheese shop a little farther away from the town. We ended up spending about forty minutes talking to the old woman who owned it. She recounted of her younger days spent watching her elders make the cheese and how much pride she took in this family business. Not to mention, it was the best cheese I had abroad so far (sorry Paris). It’s not only a delicious experience, but it is a special one as well, hearing the stories of the local cheese makers and how they've been passing along their traditions for generations.

It's a place where the food culture makes you feel as if it's a home away from home. So whether you go there to ski, to snowboard, or just to relax and take in the atmosphere, know that Grindelwald is a town with things to taste and experience as well to give you a getaway of a lifetime. 

How to Make a Classic Swiss Cheese Fondue| Williams-Sonoma