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  • Deborah Kade

Emmental Valley- home to Kambly biscuits and Emmentaler cheese

Updated: Sep 20, 2019

September 19, 2019



Kambly is a Swiss biscuit (cookie) factory. It was founded in 1910 by Oscar Kambly.


Oscar Kambly got to know a girl that lived in Trubschachen. It was a real love story!! When he went to her home he had an idea to make a biscuit after Grandma's Emmental "Bretzeli" biscuit recipe, this was in 1906.



Everything is spotless at the factory! Today we saw them wash the whole building from top to bottom. I mean the whole building. You can tell by the color what has been washed and what hasn't.


Kambly has been producing Bretzeli according to the original recipe day by day, carefully upholding the high quality and tradition associated with Kambly. This was also done during the World Wars.



He introduced the Kambly tin box to keep the biscuits from crumbling and breaking.


Kambly uses local ingredients.

Swiss Pure Spelt is grown around the Stettler family's Bäreggwinkel farm for generations.


In the Gotschi village cheese dairy in Trubschachen, the milk is processed into butter, cheese or cream. This is where the fresh butter comes from that is used in the "House Specialties of the Emmentaler Valley".


There are 7,800 hens on farms of the Grimm family in Bärau and the Grossenbacher family in Affoltern that lay eggs that go into the Kambly biscuits.


Since the company was founded, Oscar R. Kambly I purchased flour for the Bretzeli from the village mill in Trubschachen. Just like a hundred years ago, the ground flour comes from the neighboring mill, now operated by the fifth generation of the Haldemann family.


Yes, this is an area of local traditions and quality.


Oscar Kambly created the first Goldfischli as a birthday gift for his wife, whom was born under the astrological sign off Pisces, the fish. It soon became a revolutionary product in Switzerland. The name adapted to the trends in the 1990's and Goldfischli became Goldfish.


There are sample tins where you can try the item. You can eat as much as you care to.


Kambly also conducts baking classes. Michael and I have taken quite a few. Through the classes we have become friends with Fränzi, whom was our instructor. She is on vacation this week but we will meet up with her again next week.


These are handmade. Talented people creating these! So much work and time goes into making these!




The Emmental Valley features gently rolling hills and runs to the left and right of the Emme River, with typical Bernese timber farmhouses scattered all around. If you look at the tiny structure to the left of the house, you will see a bee house. The entrance to the tiny house is painted different colors.





Swiss cheese is known for being among the healthiest of cheeses. It is an excellent source for protein and calcium. It has lower sodium and contains more phosphorus and vitamin B-12 than other cheeses. The benefits of Swiss cheese make it a great fit for your healthful diet.


Emmental (Emmentaler, Emmenthal, or often known as "Swiss cheese") is a yellow, medium hard Swiss cheese that originated in the area around Emmental. It has a savory but mild taste. While the denomination "Emmentaler Switzerland" is protected, "Emmentaler" alone is not; similar cheeses of other origins, especially from France, Bavaria and Finland, are widely available and sold by that name. Emmental dates to the time of ancient history.



Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmental: Streptococcus thermophilus, Lactobacillus helveticus and Propionibacterium freudenreichii. Historically, the holes were a sign of imperfection, and until modern times, cheese makers would try to avoid them. Emmental cheese is used in a variety of dishes, particularly in gratins and fondue , where it is mixed with Gruyère.


Contrary to what you may have been told when you were a kid, the holes in Swiss cheese are not made by mice nibbling away at a big wheel of Swiss. As sweet (or gross) as that image may be, the reason for holes in Swiss cheese (known as "eyes" in the cheese world) is a bit more scientific and a little less "cute.


Swiss cheese, properly known as Emmentaler, gets its holey appearance and distinctive flavor thanks to the bacteria that turns milk into cheese. All cheeses contain bacteria (they're responsible for producing lactic acid) which help them develop into a final edible product, yet not all those bacteria are the same.


A Swiss agricultural institute discovered that tiny pieces of hay dust are responsible for the famous holes in cheeses like Emmentaler or Appenzeller. As milk matures into cheese these "microscopically small hay particles" help create the holes in the traditional Swiss cheese varieties.


To make Swiss cheese, the cultures of the bacteria S. thermophilus, Lactobacillus and P. shermani are mixed with cow’s milk. The bacteria helps produce curds, which are pressed and soaked in brine inside of cheese molds. The cheese is then stored at 72 to 80 degrees FFarenheit and left to ripen. It's at this point when the bacteria really does its work. While it's working, it releases lactic acid and one of those bacteria, a gassy one, consumes it.


That bacteria, more specifically P. shermani, releases carbon dioxide when it consumes the lactic acid and forms bubbles. The bubbles don't just disappear, they form little air pockets, resulting in the holes of the Swiss cheese. The size of the holes can be controlled by cheese makers through the acidity, temperature and maturing time, which is why it's possible to have a baby Swiss and regular Swiss option.


An interesting tidbit: The holes in Swiss cheese have created trouble in the past for commercial cheese slicers. In 2000, the FDA regulated the holes in Swiss cheese to be between 3/8 and 13/16 of an inch in diameter.


Mark, the owner of the Adventure Guest House, invited us, Wouter, Daniela and baby Hannah, Tanja, Manu and Syrena out to dinner tonight.




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