Posted by on 07 Sep 2023
Aside from its gorgeous alpine mountain views and luxury watches, Switzerland is also known for two specific delicacies—cheese and chocolate.
The European country produces almost 200,000 tonnes of cheese in one year, a huge chunk of which is exported to other countries across the globe. It’s also known as the country that eats the most chocolate per capita, thanks to its expertise in creating the most delectable, high-quality chocolate in the world. It comes as no surprise that Switzerland is home to some of the most recognizable chocolate brands in history, like Toblerone, Nestle, and Lindt.
The secret to why Switzerland cheese and chocolate are so delicious lies in the Swiss Alps. These breathtaking, high-altitude mountains create lush pastures for its livestock, allowing them to produce rich, high-quality milk. As a result, the country is blessed with the ability to make delectable dairy products like cheese and chocolate.
Check out our list of the best cheese and chocolate factory locations you should visit in Switzerland to get the best of these two delicacies.
Where to Get the Best Cheese from Switzerland
You can’t talk about cheese from Switzerland without mentioning Gruyère—the semi-hard Swiss cheese with a nutty flavour that’s typically used for sumptuous cheese fondue.
While you can get this cheese practically anywhere in Switzerland, it’s best to enjoy it in Gruyères, the medieval town where the cheese originates. While you’re there, stop by the iconic La Maison du Gruyère to learn about the traditional methods of making Gruyère cheese while enjoying this authentic Swiss cheese.
You’ll also find Gruyère in local cheese shops, restaurants and cafés all over Switzerland. Every place has its own version of fondue, but there’s almost always a Gruyère in their cheese blend.
Emmental cheese is another popular Swiss cheese known for its pale-yellow shade, mild flavour and distinct holes. To develop its slightly nutty taste, Emmental cheese is aged for a few months. You’ll often see this cheese in sandwiches or grated to add to fondue.
The best place to eat some freshly made, authentic Emmental cheese is none other than Emmental Valley in Bern, Switzerland.
This town is littered with cheese farms that produce Emmental cheese every day. You can visit some of these cheese dairies to see the process of making Emmental cheese step by step, from the milk curdling process to how each block of cheese is aged to perfection.
Valais for Raclette
Raclette has made waves on social media these past few years as the rich, luscious, buttery cheese melted and scraped onto vegetables and potatoes. But did you know that this cheese has roots in Switzerland?
While Raclette is a dish and serving style, it also refers to a special cheese that originates in Valais in Switzerland. And while this heavenly cheese is known to make an appearance at fancy restaurants, you’ll see it served all over Switzerland over simple foods like bread, too.
There are plenty of Valais restaurants and eateries that put raclette at the heart of their menu. You can also try out this cheese at mountain huts and raclette festivals—both quite common in Valais.
Appenzeller is the last Swiss cheese on our list. This aromatic, herb-flavoured cheese has a distinct aroma that makes it intriguing to many cheese aficionados. The best place to get it is the region it gets its name from—Appenzell, Switzerland.
The village of Appenzell is known for its countryside views, colourful houses and lush hills and meadows. In its many cheese dairies, you can watch how Appenzell cheese is made from scratch. There are also plenty of local cheese shops that sell Appenzell in this village.
Where to Try Chocolates from Switzerland
Confiserie Sprüngli in Zurich
Zurich is one of the top places to visit in Switzerland, not just for its stunning lake views and architecture. It’s also home to many Swiss chocolate confectioneries, making it a must-see. One of these is Confiserie Sprüngli.
This sweet shop first opened its doors in the 1850s. It’s still around today, creating chocolates, pralines, decadent truffles and Luxemburgerli macarons every day. Try out some of their indulgent Swiss chocolate offerings in their café and restaurant.
Camille Bloch Chocolate Factory in Courtelary
Camille Bloch is a family-owned, three-generation chocolate factory established in the 1920s. It was founded in Bern—one of the must-visit regions of Switzerland. The chocolatier’s goal is simple: to evoke a feeling of pleasure and luxury with every bite of their chocolate.
This chocolate factory is home to two of the most popular chocolates from Switzerland, Ragusa and Torino. If you want to see how these delicious milk chocolate bars are produced, head over to the Camille Bloch Chocolate Factory in Courtelary. You’ll see the state-of-the-art machinery they use to produce these decadent chocolates. They also have a museum where you can learn about how to make chocolate and the history of chocolate.
Maison Cailler in Broc
Lastly, we have Maison Cailler—the factory of the oldest chocolate brand in all of Switzerland. In this factory, you can go on tours that tell the story of how Switzerland became a pioneer in producing high-quality chocolate.
You’ll also see how Cailler makes their chocolate and watch modern chocolatiers create their sweets by hand. The tours also include a chocolate-tasting session, where you can try out some of Cailler’s most mouthwatering chocolates.
Indulge in Switzerland Cheese and Chocolate on Your Next European Holiday
There are plenty of confectionary shops specialising in chocolate and cheese factory options to choose from when you’re visiting Switzerland. But if you want to get the crème de la crème of Switzerland cheese and chocolate, add the cities and factories we mentioned above.
Not only will you taste some of the best cheese and chocolate in your life, but you’ll also learn the rich history of the country’s prowess in dairy and the culinary arts.
Switzerland isn’t just a gastronomic destination. It has a lot of other majestic views and excursions to offer, too. Check out all our Switzerland holiday packages to make the most of your trip to the Alps!