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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

Double Cream and Raspberries!

There was a ninety percent chance of rain today in the area. So, since we wanted raclette plus raspberries with double cream again before we go back to Arizona, we decided to go back to the Hôtel de Ville in Gruyères.

Michael needed a meringue, too.

We had a fascinating conversation from Fribourg to Bulle with Hugo.

We talked about so many things. We didn’t know in the “French section” of Switzerland there was something known as "high French". Some of the smallest of villages even have their own French or German dialect that no one else can understand unless they are from that village. So, they have to switch to high German or high French. Who knew!

Hugo also told us Nespresso is owned by Nestlé. He laughed and said anything with “Nes” at the beginning was owned or a subsidiary of Nestlé. For example: Nesquik, Nescafé, etc. He also told us about cocaine being shipped to Nespresso by mistake in a shipment from Brazil instead of coffee beans.

Hugo works for Liebherr which is one of the largest construction machine manufacturers in the world. He works in Bulle. Liebherr makes diesel engines for John Deere harvesters.

Gruyère cream (French: Crème de Gruyère) is a double cream produced in the canton of Fribourg. It is named after the region of Gruyères, from which it originates. In Switzerland, double cream must contain at least 45 percent fat. Gruyère cream contains about 50 percent, which gives it its thickness and smoothness.

Gruyère cream is traditionally served in a wooden tub, with a carved wooden spoon. It is often served along with meringues for dessert. Gruyère cream is also served with fritters, bricelets, aniseed bread, croquets and cuquettes. Gruyère cream is listed in the Culinary Heritage of Switzerland.

How to Make Double Cream

Since double cream is usually specialty food store specific, there are a couple ways to make it at home.

Stovetop method: Pour ½ gallon whole milk into a large saucepan over low heat. Watch it carefully to be sure it doesn’t scorch, stirring occasionally, and bring it to a delicate boil. Then, use a slotted spoon to skim the fat off the top and into an air-tight container. Place the container in the fridge for a day, then put the contents into a blender to smooth the cream out.

Countertop method: This method is easy and incredibly hands-off. Just pour one cup heavy cream into a glass jar with a tight lid and add one tablespoon buttermilk. Close the lid and shake for one full minute. Next, wrap the jar in a thick towel and let it sit out at room temperature for 12 hours. It’ll get thick, but it’ll still be liquid. This version will be more tangy, so keep that in mind when using it in a recipe and add a little sweetener as needed.

"The canton of Valais is situated in the heart of the Swiss Alps. Valais is a diverse canton, full of differences and juxtapositions: bilingualism, shaped by powerful mountains and gentle valleys; eternal glacial ice and rippling mountain streams; strict characters and lovely charm. And the cheese that is produced here is as diversely striking as the Valais itself. From the milk production to the maturing of the cheese – guaranteed Valais."

"However, raclette wasn’t officially named as such until 1874. Raclette comes from the word “racler”, which means “scrape” in the local French dialect. Scrape because, once the cheese has been melted on a fire, it is gently scraped from the cheese wheel. “Raclette du Valais AOP” has had a protected designation of origin (PDO in English) since 2007 and was recognized as a Swiss culinary heritage in 2008."

"The rich flora of the Valais mountain and alpine regions, the Mediterranean climate and the traditional processing all lend the Raclette du Valais AOP its unique fresh and tangy flavor. Raclette du Valais AOP is a semi-hard, full-fat, unpasteurized cheese. Creamy and aromatic. A cheese produced with plenty of love and dedication. A hearty taste."

"The majority of unpasteurized cheese production is owed to the Raclette du Valais AOP. But there are also mountain, alpine and aged cheeses that are produced using the same traditional methods as for Raclette du Valais AOP. The only slight differences are found in the processing steps and maturation grades."

"The Protected Designation of Origin (AOP) recognizes a level of quality granted uniquely to typical products, deeply rooted in a region that gives it a specific character and an inimitable flavor. The AOP label guarantees the authenticity of products made according to traditional know-how." "Le Gruyère AOP was granted its AOC (Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée) since July 6, 2001. This designation has been recognized at European level since December 2011. Its denomination was changed to “Appellation d’Origine Protégée”. The entire production is regulated according to the AOP specifications, which are fundamental to any AOP. Several other agreements protect the use of the name "Gruyère" in various countries throughout the world."


  • a tradition

  • a limited production zone

  • a name

  • a know-how and a history

  • a product

"Le Gruyère AOP owes its name to the region of Gruyère, in the canton of Fribourg. It has been produced according to the same traditional recipe since 1115. Nowadays, it is made in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, and Jura, and in a few municipalities of the canton of Bern." MARKING: A PROTECTION FOR THE CONSUMER

"Each piece is systematically identified both through the number of the cheese wheel and of the cheese dairy. The manufacturing date and month also appear on the wheel. These markings are made with casein, the main protein in cheese. Once again, without any additives or artificial flavors

The Gruyère AOP label and the number of the production site appear on the heel of each wheel of Gruyère AOP: a suitable way to prevent fraudulent production and to guarantee its authenticity. This technique uses marked steel sheets in order to emboss the cheese wheel. This marking thus gives it its identity and its traceability."

"The production process has been maintained since the origins of Gruyère. It is strictly respected by the cheese makers, who follow the AOP specifications."

A cheese as symbolic as Gruyère AOP, Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP is produced exclusively in the villages and alpine pastures of the Fribourg Region. This semi-hard, cows’ milk cheese is fine and creamy. This delicious cheese may be eaten from a dish, as an entrée or as a dessert, and is particularly famous for being used in fondue." Origins "Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP takes its name from "Vaccarinus", a word derived from Latin, meaning "little cowherd". The latter assisted the cowherd in milking and caring for the cattle. Thus le vacherin indicated a small cheese, which the cowherd produced for his personal use. Although this cheese had been known since the Middle Ages, it was not until the 19th century, with the arrival of village cheese dairies, that Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP began to increase in popularity. It continued to expand its growth up to 2005, when it was awarded the "Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée" and arrived at the success it enjoys today."

For most Swiss fondues, the mixture is Gruyère cheese and Vacherin Fribourgeois. Michael sometimes uses Gruyère and Emmentaler.

Nestlé Nespresso S.A., trading as Nespresso, is an operating unit of the Nestlé Group based in Lausanne. Nespresso machines brew espresso and coffee from coffee capsules (or pods in machines for home or professional use, a type of pre-apportioned single-use container, or reusable capsules (pods), of ground coffee beans, sometimes with added flavorings. Once inserted into a machine, the capsules are pierced and processed, water is then forced against a heating element at high pressure meaning that only the quantity for a single cup is warmed. By 2011 Nespresso had annual sales in excess of 3 billion Swiss francs. The word Nespresso is a portmanteau of "Nestlé" and "Espresso", a common mechanic used across other Nestlé brands (Nescafé, BabyNes, Nesquik).

All Nespresso coffee is roasted, ground and encapsulated in one of three factories in Switzerland (Avenches, Orbe and Romont), but the company sells its system of machines and capsules worldwide, as well as the VertuoLine system in North America and certain other countries.

"In 1975, Eric Favre, an employee of Nestlé, noticed that a coffee bar near the Pantheon in Rome, Italy had a disproportionately large number of customers. He found that the only difference between that bar and the many others using the same machines was that operators pumped the piston many times before releasing the coffee, while others did so only once. Oxidization occurs as the pumping action pushes water and air into the ground coffee. This increases the flavor in the coffee and creates the foam you see on top which is called crema."

"Favre invented the Nespresso system. The pod containing the coffee was sealed, keeping it fresh. In use it ensured greater aeration, like the repeated pumping Favre had noticed. In operation, a sharp-pointed spout would pierce the capsule and inject pressurized hot water, forcing the foil against a spiked plate which burst it inwards, letting the espresso flow out of the spout."

The system was patented by Nestlé in 1976. Early prototypes were complicated machines with large tanks and pumps and tubes; the machine was not ready for the market for a decade. It was introduced to the Swiss market, looking like large traditional commercial espresso machines, initially without significant success. Nespresso first tested its new concept in Japan in 1986, and rolled it out to consumers in Switzerland, France, Italy and Japan the same year. A decade later, in part due to the efforts of Jean-Paul Gaillard, who introduced the Le Club community—providing Nestlé with a large database of customers and their preferences—reduced prices of machines but increased capsule prices, changed the machine from an office machine into a luxury brand now available to consumers, and licensed production by other companies, the product became more successful. In 1990, Nestlé signed a contract with Turmix, which started to sell Nespresso machines in Switzerland. Thereafter, other contracts were signed with Krups, Magimix, Alessi, Philips, Siemens,and De'Longhi. Starting out as an e-commerce business, Nespresso only opened their first boutique in Paris in 2000 as a concept store. Today, Nespresso has a global network of more than 700 boutiques in 68 countries."

"In later years there was friction between Favre—who came up with the concept and developed the first machines—and Gaillard, who made the machine a commercial success. Favre resigned in 1990 after personality clashes, and the two men were critical of each other. Gaillard left Nestlé in 1997 after falling out with CEO Peter Brabeck-Letmathe. He claimed that the original idea for Nespresso was bought by Nestlé in 1973, and did not come from Favre, though Nespresso denies this. In 2008 Gaillard launched a company that sold biodegradable capsules for Nespresso machines, competing with Nespresso." "To appeal to the demand by North Americans for larger servings of coffee than the original Nespresso machine produces, in February 2014 Nespresso launched a new "VertuoLine" system of machines and capsules in the United States and Canada. The system produces Espresso (40ml/1.35oz), Double Espresso (80ml/2.7oz), Gran Lungo (150ml/5oz), Mug/Coffee (230ml/8oz) and Alto/Alto XL (414ml/14oz) cup sizes that characterises espresso coffees and the original line of Nespresso coffees. Nespresso simultaneously uses over 25 blends in specially-designed VertuoLine capsules. The VertuoLine capsules cannot be used in the original line of Nespresso machines (now branded "OriginalLine" in North America). Nespresso continues to sell both OriginalLine and VertuoLine machines and capsules in the United States and Canada, targeting different market segments with the two systems." "A pair of the VertuoLine style pods, The VertuoLine system, uses two technologies not found in the OriginalLine. First, the system uses "Centrifusion" (a term created by Nespresso, being a portmanteau of centrifugal force and infusion ), whereby it spins the capsule around in the machine at up to 7,000 rpm to blend the ground coffee and hot water. Second, each capsule has a barcode embedded on the rim, and the barcode laser scanning system reads 5 different parameters: rotational speed, temperature, infusion time, volume and flow of water. Some critics claim that the VertuoLine technology, particularly the use of bar codes, is an attempt by Nestlé to create a new proprietary Nespresso system which excludes compatible capsules from other companies."

"The VertuoLine system was intended to expand Nespresso's product line to offer coffee closer to the American style of filtered coffee, and thus expand Nespresso's market share in North America. In the United States, Nespresso had only a 3% share of the single-serve coffee market in the year before the introduction of VertuoLine (compared with 72% for Green Mountain's Keurig system), while in Canada Nespresso had 4 to 5% of the single-serve market in 2013 (compared to approximately 53% for Keurig and 40% for Tassimo). In comparison, Nestlé had 70% of the single-serve market in Europe in 2013." "At the time of the introduction of the VertuoLine system in 2014, there were no plans to launch the system in markets outside Canada and the United States. However, sales of the VertuoLine system were expanded beyond North America in 2016, first with the launch of the system in France in 2016 under the name "Vertuo" (with the original line branded "Original"), and with later roll outs in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Germany, Switzerland and Australia. As of 2018, Nespresso aimed to introduce the Vertuoline system in eight additional European markets by the end of the year. In September 2019, the VertuoLine system launched in the Middle East, in Kuwait, UAE, and KSA under the name "Vertuo"." "In May 2022, more than 500 kilograms of cocaine have been seized after the drug was found in a shipment of coffee beans delivered to a Nespresso factory in Switzerland. Workers alerted authorities in Fribourg of bags of white powder they found while unloading bags of coffee beans. Police determined the substance was cocaine. They then searched five maritime containers "delivered the same day by train" where 500 kg of the drug was found. The haul is estimated to have a street value of more than €48 million. In a statement, Nespresso said the substance did not come into contact with any of their coffee or equipment and that all their production was safe to consume."

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