Sbrinz: An original and classic
Sbrinz is probably one of the oldest, least appreciated, yet most influential cheeses in existence
The story of Sbrinz is this: In central Switzlerand, milk from cow's on the local Alps are used to make various cheeses (the same practice of transhumance is still found on the Alps today). In the early 1100s, cheese was sold at a local market city of Brienz in the nearby valley.
Because the cheese was so good (due to the quality of the milk) Italians from northern Italy would regularly make the difficult trip across the Alps to pick up some of the area's famous cheese, and take it back to their country.
Struggling with the pronunciation of Brienz, the cheese bought from the city, transformed into Sbrienzo, and finally Sbrinz. Sbrinz was (and is) hard, well aged, crystalline, crumbly, rich in taste, grassy and golden in color.
The Italians eventually got tired of making the difficult trip, and decided to make their own versions of Sbrinz — and they called it Parmigiano Reggiano. Parmigiano has of course bloomed into a massive industry, but because Sbrinz is still made locally by hand, it remains a small production.
Our Sbrinz is made by a master of the art: Andreas Gut, who we had the chance to meet, this summer, and watch him in action making Sbrinz by hand. Above, he is handing our chunks of Sbrinz to try, and below he's proudly showing his aging cellar. He's an absolute character, so drop by the shop to hear more stories of this incredible man!