According to the Swiss farmers union, 2015 was a bumper year for cheese consumption in Switzerland. The Swiss ate 21.49 kgs each, 260 grams more than in 2014.
In total, 180,746 tonnes of cheese were eaten in 2015, 4,314 tonnes more than in 2014. Consumption of fromage frais, soft white cheeses like mozzarella and quark, a cheese with the consistency of yoghurt went up 8.5%, while other soft cheese eating was up 3%.
Swiss consumers were particularly keen on mozzarella, raclette cheese and hard cheeses such as Gruyère and the classic hole filled Swiss cheese Emmentaler. Overall 70% of this cheese was produced from Swiss milk with the percentage imported increasing only 7% over the 8 years since Swiss markets were opened to the European Union.
Extra hard cheese imports however dropped by 17.6% in 2015 compared to the year before. These include the rock-like Sbrinz AOP cheese, a famous brand-protected Swiss cheese that some claim might have inspired Italian producers of Parmesan. The name is thought to have come from an Italian pronunciation of Brienz, the Swiss town in the canton of Bern, where it was believed the cheese came from.
Super hard cheeses like this are made with huge volumes of milk. 1kg of Sbrinz requires over 13 litres of raw milk. Sbrinz, with a 45% dried fat content is aged for at least 18 months. And it’s supposed to be chiseled, not cut. Now if James Bond ate cheese he might just have a Sbrinz.