Cheese maker Jacques Murith leans over a glowing vat of whey as he prepares serac, a soft, ricotta-like cheese.
For five generations his family has worked in this picturesque corner of Switzerland to also produce another, more famous dairy product - Gruyere. The firm and slightly nutty-flavoured cheese is both tricky and time-consuming to make, and from mid-May to mid-October the Muriths devote almost all their time to the process.
Cow’s milk is turned into Gruyere through a delicate process, during which cultures and enzymes are added to huge vats of milk, which is heated, stirred, moulded and matured. All sorts of factors can affect the final product, from the temperature of the milk in the morning to the weather outdoors.