Züpfe n’ Cheese @ Bumthang

We drive past a small farm, and I mean small, on our way to the hotel from the airport. Now to give some perspective, the airport is a short runway in the middle of the valley, minutes away from everything.

As we drive past a group of bee hives, I see a man dressed in a bee keepers outfit, so I ask the guide. His name is Fritz, and he is one of those people from Switzerland that graduated cheese making school, and answered an newspaper Ad. This time the Ad was searching for a cheese maker to work in Bhutan. The story goes as follows, the third King of Bhutan enjoyed his cheese, so it all made sense.

Fritz has since stopped and passed the cheese making onto some of his employees who continue to produce gouda, emmenthal and homemade smoked schinken. A nice change from the usual cuisine in the Kingdom, and a wonderful way to spend an afternoon listening to stories about the Kingdom’s past.

Fritz is articulate and enjoys guests to stop by and try his smörgåsbord of treats and the Züpfe, the Sunday bread that is like cake as it has plenty of butter and perhaps some cream.

Each Züpfe is made up of two strands and requires some twisting. To make it, you lay one strand horizontally on the work surface, and place another vertically across the middle. Then take the right end of the horizontal roll and lay it leftwards across the top one, and take the left end and lay it rightwards. Then take the two ends of the vertical roll and do the same, bringing the upper end downwards and the lower end upwards. Continue alternately until the braid is complete, then give the two ends a pinch.

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Categories: Life Cycles