The oldest hard cheese in Switzerland has been produced in the central Swiss cantons for 500 years. Merchants were exporting the golden yellow, solid Sbrinz wheels across the Meiringen, Grimsel and Gries passes to Italy using mules from Brienz, to trade it with salt and wine back in 1530. It comes as no surprise that the fame of Sbrinz spread far beyond national borders; cheese lovers from across the world treasure the special, full-flavoured taste and its inimitable crumbly texture. Sbrinz AOP is made from pure unpasteurised milk and has a 45% fat in dry matter FDM) content. Following an extensive salt bath, it is brought into a warm, damp cellar, where, in the 18 degree heat, it loses lots of fat and water over a few days. The cheese wheels are then stored vertically in the maturation cellar, so that the rind is exposed to lots of fresh air. They are carefully rubbed dry at regular intervals. The maturation period lasts for at least 18 months and makes Sbrinz AOP wonderfully crumbly and, as a result, extremely easy to digest.