GRUYÈRES, SWITZERLAND – FOOD – Gruyères is a picture-perfect walled medieval village with a hilltop castle which was once the residence of the Counts of Gruyères. The setting is idyllic—almost unbelievably so. A visit to the village transports you across eight centuries of architecture, history, and culture.
Tradition runs deep in Gruyère—especially when it comes to food. The region has given its name to its favored cheese, which has been made here for over 900 years. The local cows that produce the milk for the cheese also produce a little extra for local specialties like double crème and milk chocolate.
Gruyère is home to numerous chocolatiers, each with their own spin on the process, ingredients, fillings, and presentation. Leisurely sampling allows the unique flavor profiles of each piece of chocolate to emerge and be recognized. The chocolate makers in Gruyère still insist on using slightly condensed fresh milk rather than the powder preferred by many commercial manufacturers. Foodies—and chocolate lovers in particular—need to visit Gruyère to understand the generations of genius behind the genealogy of fine chocolate.
To showcase the food traditions of Switzerland, with an emphasis on chocolate, Alpenwild, a tour company with over 30 years of experience in the Alps, leads gourmet tours in Switzerland. These summer food tours capture both the gastronomic delights and the spectacular scenery of the Alps. Chocolate and Cheese in the Alps
The 9-day, all-inclusive, small-group tour, Cheese, Chocolate, and the Scenic Alps, visits chocolatiers, chocolate makers, cheese dairies, and top restaurants along with some of the most iconic mountain scenery in the world. Guests are immersed in the history, culture, and cuisine of Switzerland in small cities, towns, and regions including Luzern, Emmental, Grindelwald, Gruyères, Montreux, the Rhone Valley, and Zermatt.
Guests will be on hand for making fine chocolates, cheesemaking over an open fire, tending a vineyard, learning the craft of and cultivating mountain herbs. They will indulge in the rich culinary tradition of the Alps as they savor fondue, Raclette, alp cheese, artisan rye breads, Pinot Noir wines, and a continual supply of Swiss chocolate.
“Cheese, Chocolate, and the Scenic Alps goes beyond the expected chocolate tastings and visits to commercial cheese dairies. The focus is on personal connections and hands-on involvement with great food,” says Alpenwild founder, Greg Witt. He notes that in addition to the exclusive visits and gourmet experiences, the tours include some of Switzerland’s most scenic mountain excursions like the Jungfrau railway which tunnels through the Eiger to the highest railway station in Europe, and the Gornergrat cogwheel railway which ascends to an alpine paradise near the Matterhorn.
“Our guests experience chocolate making with the leading commercial producers like Lindt and Cailler (Nestlé) but also with small artisan chocolatiers and rare bean-to-bar chocolate makers. In Gruyère you’ll meet a different type of chocolate maker—a rare bean-to-bar chocolate maker who uses traditional hand-crafted methods to create a chocolate similar to what chocolate pioneers first created nearly 200 years ago. This kind of passion for great chocolate is what makes Swiss chocolate among the finest in the world,” Greg continues
Alpenwild is the leading North American tour operator offering hiking, walking, scenic rail, and food tours in the Alps. With over 30 years of experience, they organize guided and custom tours that capture the inspiring scenery, cultural richness, and undeniable romance of the Alps.
The rate is $US3795 for the 9-day tour. Tours run June-September 2016.
Full Event Information: https://www.alpenwild.com/trip/details/cheese-chocolate-and-the-scenic-alps/#t_itinerary