The KALTBACH range comprises a small but fine collection of selected cheese specialities, each of which has its own distinct character. The flavour of the cheese from the south-east Swiss mountain and Alpine areas comes from the relatively sparse yet diverse flora found at high altitude, which is fodder for the dairy cows. The unique climate in the Kaltbach cave also brings the best out in this cheese.
The long journey to Kaltbach
The origin of KALTBACH Engadiner Bergkäse lies in the succulent herbs of the Engadin’s pastures. Thirty farmers from across the region supply their milk to Lataria Engiadinaisa (LESA) in Bever – one of the highest dairies in Europe at 1,706 metres above sea level. There, the milk is made into mountain cheese according to a tried-and-tested recipe and stored for 70 days. “This means that a key part of the value chain is in the Engadin”, says Beat Klöti, Operations Manager at LESA.
Afterwards, the “ibex” – a reference to the symbolic animal of the canton of Graubünden – begins its journey into the valley. It stops off along the way at the mountain cheese warehouse in Landquart to be aged for another 60 days. Werner Sutter, Site Manager at Landquart, explains: “We age the cheese differently than in Bever. It is less humid and the cheese is treated only with brine. In Bever, the rind is also treated with cultures. These different methods of ageing help maximise the flavour of the cheese.”
Engadiner Bergkäse then receives its finishing touches for 60 days in the natural sandstone cave in Kaltbach. “Here, it develops its typical KALTBACH character thanks to our special ageing process”, says Site Manager Roland Ziswiler. “The texture is pleasantly creamy, while the flavour of the cheese becomes tangier as a result of being aged in the cave.”
Launch in Swiss retailers
KALTBACH Engadiner Bergkäse is now available from Coop, both at the cheese counter and as a portion.