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Sleeping with Cheese: a Snapshot of Bogatepe’s Legendary Gruyere

Cows pattern the hillside. From a distance they appear like a strings of ants.

It’s nine p.m., and even with the full moon I can see thousands of stars. I am at 2,300 meters (about 7,500 feet) and I am walking into a dark long shed. In the darkness, I smell hot humid boiled milk. I keep walking into a deep throaty smell of fermentation. Finally I end in a smell that is cold, aged, salty. The lights shoot on and giant warm orbs of gruyere cheese glow from the shelves. All around me men suit up and start pulling the cheeses from the shelves, salting, spinning, wiping, drying… and to think just five minutes ago I thought I was headed to bed! (more…)


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