The acronym AOP stands for Appellation d’Origine Protégée in French. The English term is Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Only products that are produced, processed and refined exclusively in their region of origin can be awarded the AOP label. The quality seal is protected by law and guarantees that the products bearing it have been established in the region of origin for centuries.
What does AOP mean for cheese?
If the name of your favourite cheese includes the AOP designation, then it is guaranteed to have been produced, processed and refined in the region of origin.
Where is the region of origin for Emmentaler AOP?
There is a precise geographical definition of where the raw milk for Emmentaler AOP comes from and where the cheese can be produced. The original is guaranteed to come only from the cantons of Bern (excluding the district of Moutier), Aargau, Glarus, Lucerne, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Zug, Zurich or parts of the Canton of Fribourg.
Why does Emmentaler carry the AOP quality seal?
Emmentaler AOP is one of the select few quality Swiss products allowed to bear the AOP designation. This is because Emmentaler AOP is only made using fresh raw milk from the region. The milk comes from cows that have plenty of space to roam and are fed on grass or hay. No silage in sight. After the milk has been processed at one of the around 110 cheese dairies that make this “king of cheeses”, it matures naturally in a cheese cellar for at least four months. This is how it develops its unique shape and flavour.
What other Swiss products bear the AOP quality seal?
To date, there are 23 quality Swiss AOP products in the national register:
- Emmentaler AOP
- Berner Alpkäse AOP and Berner Hobelkäse AOP
- Bloder-Sauerkäse AOP
- L’Etivaz AOP
- Formaggio d’Alpe Ticinese AOP
- Glarner Alpkäse AOP
- Le Gruyère AOP
- Sbrinz AOP
- Tête de Moine AOP
- Vacherin fribourgeois AOP
- Vacherin Mont-d’Or AOP
- Walliser Raclette AOP
- Abricotine AOP
- Damassine AOP
- Eau-de-vie de poire du Valais AOP
- Zuger Kirsch and Rigi Kirsch AOP
Other AOP products
- Cardon épineux genevois AOP
- Huile de noix vaudoise AOP
- Poire à Botzi AOP
- Rheintaler Ribelmais AOP
- Munder Safran AOP
- Walliser Roggenbrot AOP
- Cuchaule AOP