Thanks to its distinctive nutty flavor and ability to melt smoothly, Gruyère is one of Switzerland’s most popular cheeses. By law, in order to bear the name, this hard, cow’s milk cheese can only be produced in or around the town of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. Cheese-makers in the region have been churning out this prized product since 1115.
While most factories prefer to make their cheese behind closed doors, La Maison du Gruyère opens up the process for visitors. Inside the small museum, which offers both guided tours and audio guides, visitors can see the entire process of making the cheese from milk to maturation. You can also taste the cheese straight from the maturation caves in the onsite restaurant.
The highlight here is the maturation caves themselves. Most of them are below ground, but one room is on ground level and has a glass wall that allows people to peer in on the aging wheels. In between the shelves you can see robots moving around, testing the cheese with various sensors, and flipping it when needed.
Know Before You Go
The cheese caves are free to see, they are just left of the restaurant. The rest of the factory requires a ticket. Check the website for fees and opening times.