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Alp Gummen (SZ)

Owners/Operators: Reto Rütimann, AaA since 2018

Cheeses Produced: Alpkäse 2020

Gummen is located between the small towns of Einsiedeln and Schwyz, on the foot of the "Kleiner Mythen" mountain and with spectacular views over the Vierwaldstättersee (Lake Lucerne) and Lauerzersee (Lake Lauerz) as well as of the Stoos and Rigi mountains.

For 2021, there are quite some changes. Cheesemaker Martin Dobler has left Gummen because he took over the reins of a dairy in the Zurich Oberland. However, there is a connection with the new cheesemaker, Reto Rütimann. Martin and Reto were together during their apprenticeship. Only 25 years of age, Reto has also an education as a butcher, and he has spent transhumance the last two years on Alp Albin in the canton Grison. He will have two helpers: Franziska Schnüriger will work in the dairy, Tobias Ott is going to be the herdsman.

On the Gummen meadows graze about 90 cows, Brown Swiss and Original Brown, a few heifers, and 30 pigs. The pigs are a bit more constraint in regard to previous years: Because they did too much damage to the pastures, they can't spend all day outside.

3 neighboring Alps also bring their milk there and have Rütimann craft it into Alpkäse, yogurt, butter, ice cream and, early in the season, small format wheels called Mutschli: Alp Stuckli where Karl Hediger and old fashion weather prophet (forecaster) is in charge, Alp Oberer Brüschrain (Ruedi Deck) and Unterer Brüschrain (Erwin Appert).

The house and barn on Gummen are traditional wooden constructions that have served several generations already. In the barn, the fresh milk still goes into pails and is poured into the copper vat by hand. The dairy got torn down and rebuilt 12 years ago. There is no real restaurant on Alp Gummen, but hikers and mountain bikers still can stop at the hut and order refreshments and small cheese plates.

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