Jacek Proniewicz travel blog

picture and movies from my travel

Posts tagged ‘Switzerland’

Tour de Romandie 2013

The Tour de Romandie is a stage race which is part of the UCI World Tour. It runs in the Romandie region, in the French-speaking part of Switzerland. It began in 1947, to coincide with the 50-year anniversary of Swiss Cycling.
The race traditionally starts with an individual time trial prologue in Geneva and ends with another individual time-trial in the hilly terrains in Lausanne. The final time-trial traditionally starts in the stadium north of Lausanne, goes downhill southwards to Lac Léman (Lake Geneva), and makes its way back uphill to the stadium again. Not surprisingly, the winner and several of the top-ten finishers are usually excellent time trialists.
The course of the race usually heads northwards towards the Jura mountains and Alpine mountain ranges of western Switzerland.

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Swiss cheese from the Alps

From milk to cheese in 5 stages

20130427-160935.jpg1. Curdling

When the milk first arrives, it undergoes quality controls before being filtered. Dairy milk is heated slowly and stirred constantly in a large cheese vat until the desired temperature has been reached. Rennet, an enzyme taken from the stomachs of young calves that can also be produced microbially, is added to the milk together with lactic acid bacteria (or possibly just acids). When making white mould cheese (e.g. Camembert) and blue mould cheese (e.g. Roquefort), mould cultures are introduced into the milk.
The stirring equipment is then switched off. After resting for 30 to 40 minutes, a jelly-like mass appears (protein in its set form), the milk has curdled.

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20130427-161134.jpg2. Pre-cheesing

The jelly-like mass is broken up using a “cheese harp”, a stirring instrument strung with thin wire. The pieces become smaller and smaller as they are stirred. The “curd” separates from the watery part, which is the “whey”. The smaller the pieces of curd, the harder the cheese will be at the end of the manufacturing process.
The whey can be processed further in two different ways. It is either centrifuged to obtain cream, in which case the whey cream is used to produce dairy butter, or the whey is replaced with vinegar or another acid and then used to make Ziger.

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20130427-161250.jpg3. Heating, forming and saline bathing

The curd is heated to 57°C maximum, whilst being constantly stirred. With the help of a cheesecloth, it is lifted out of the whey and given its shape, the “Järb”. The cheese is pressed to force the whey out. The lactic acid bacteria that have been added to the cheese turn the lactose into lactic acid. The cheese, which is still soft, is put into a saline bath for a period lasting from 30 minutes to two days depending on the size of the cheese. During this time, it absorbs salt and loses moisture. The rind forms – the cheese becomes stable.

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20130427-161350.jpg4. Fermenting and ripening

The fermentation process affects the formation of holes in the cheese dough and the aroma. The holes are produced as a result of carbon dioxide gas, which is released as milk sugar (lactose) is broken down by specific lactic acid bacteria. As this gas cannot escape, it forms bubbles. The bubbles make holes in the cheese dough.
As the cheese ripens, the protein is broken down into a more easily digestible form. At this stage, the cheese gets the taste that is typical of its particular variety. It can take from several days (e.g. Tomme) to several years (e.g. Sbrinz AOC) for the cheese to mature. During this time, the cheese wheel must be carefully looked after by turning and washing it regularly.

5. Quality control

The cheese is checked thoroughly before it goes on sale. This is to ensure that only cheese of excellent quality is sold. Hole formation, the quality of the cheese dough, taste and outward appearance (shape and conservation) are checked and assessed.

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20130427-161536.jpgWhat About the Holes?

The holes in Swiss cheese are formed by carbon dioxide pockets that result from the bacteria used to make the cheese. Hole size is serious business in Swiss cheese making. Hole size must meet certain size requirements and there must be a certain number of holes in a preset area.Whether you eat Swiss cheese made the old fashioned way or using the modern methods, true Swiss cheese is delicious when served with fruit, crackers, wine, or a simple loaf of bread.

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Les Diablerets

Les Diablerets in Switzerland (in the Lake Geneva region) is a large resort with 23 lifts (4 chair lifts, 17 surface lifts) that offers skiers an incredible 1800 metres (5905 feet) of vertical descent. Les Diablerets has 25 pistes. Les Diablerets is best suited to beginner skiers and snowboarders but there is some terrain for intermediates but little of interest for expert skiers. There are 25 kilometers (16 miles) of cross country ski trails at Les Diablerets. For snowboarders, there is a terrain park and 2 half pipes. The closest airport is at Geneva but the transfer time is 1.5 hours. The nearest train station to Les Diablerets is at Aigle

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GoldenPass: a train from Montreux to Lucerne

The GoldenPass train line connects Montreux with Lucerne via Château-d’Oex, Gstaad and Interlaken. A five-hour trip in panoramic cars across one of the most picturesque Swiss landscapes.

20130320-134306.jpgThe exceptional attraction of the GoldenPass railway line is indeed the countryside. The train connects Montreux, Château-d’Oex, Gstaad, Interlaken and Lucerne with an itinerary through Nature. The GoldenPass crosses the vineyard terraces of Lake Geneva, the pastoral and forestry expanses in Upper Gruyère, Saanenland and in Upper Simmental, holding in store the most captivating views of the Swiss countryside.

The GoldenPass inaugurated the concept of panoramic travel with above-average comfort in its carriages offering wide views of the countryside. On advance booking, travellers can occupy seats in the very front of the first carriage, while the driver sits above them in a small bubble. The journey becomes as captivating as a fairground attraction.

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Aosta Valley

Aosta Valley
The heart of the Alps
Bordered by France and Switzerland, surrounded by the highest peaks in the Alps. Italy’s Aosta Valley is a region of spectacular scenery, world-class skiing and snowboarding, food of the highest quality and a history stretching back to Roman times. Discover this fascinating region this winter.

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Fondue at Chalet de Gruyere

To the eye and to the nose, the Chalet de Gruyères offers the typical décor of an Alpine chalet – wood, and its unmistakable fragrance.

The authentic tools and other objects that once seconded the armailli in his daily work now decorate and enliven the walls of this unique establishment

To the palate, the Chalet offers a wealth of delicacies prepared according to the traditions of the Gruyère region.

They always delight our guests, some of whom come from very far in search of unadulterated flavours.

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Moleson

The Moléson (2,002 metres) is a mountain of the Swiss Prealps, overlooking the region of Gruyères in the canton of Fribourg. It lies at the northern end of the chain between Lake Geneva and the valley of the Sarine.
The summit of the mountain can be easily reached, a cable car station being located near the summit at 1,982 metres as well as a meteorological station. From the village of Moléson-sur-Gruyères a funicular leads to Plan Francey (1,517 m), from where the cable car starts.

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