100-kilo wheel of cheese to be rolled 90 kilometres across Switzerland
In what is perhaps the most Swiss story of the week, a group from a cheese factory in Canton Bern is set to roll a 100-kilogram wheel of Emmentaler 90 kilometres across the country in a bid to raise awareness of local Swiss cheeses. The cheese wheel will go on a whirlwind adventure across five separate Swiss cantons, featuring ice hockey matches, boat rides and celebrity cameos.
100 kilograms of Emmentaler rolled across Switzerland
From October 21 to 28, people across Canton Bern, Lucerne, Schwyz, Zug and Zurich will get a chance to see quite a strange sight: several people rolling a massive cheese wheel along the road. The 90-kilometre walking route (100 kilometres in total) will take the wheel from the Jumi cheese factory in Zäziwil through Langnau, Entlebuch, Lucerne, Küssnacht am Rigi, Zug, Wädenswil and Zurich before arriving in Winterthur.
The wheel - which is made using over 1.000 litres of raw milk, weighs 100 kilos and is around 90 centimetres in diameter - will make several special appearances on the route, including featuring in an SCL Tigers ice hockey match on October 21. The cheese wheel will also hitch a ride across Lake Zurich on a ZSG boat before taking a tram across Zurich.
Finally, the wheel will be rolled across the finish line in Winterthur by Mayor Michael Künzle and rapper Steff La Cheffe - at some point, Schwingen champion Matthias Sempach will also take part in the rolling. Tastings, concerts and other events are planned along the wheel’s route.
Stunt designed to raise awareness of Swiss cheese
Speaking 20 Minuten, workers from the Jumi cheese factory explained that the planned stunt was designed to raise awareness of the plight of Swiss cheese. “This year, for the first time, more imported than domestic cheese was sold in Switzerland,” noted cheesemaker Lukas Liebendörfer, adding that Emmental cheese production in particular has declined significantly over the past few years.
“Rolling the 100-kilo machine up and down hills is really tiring! Even the strongest people need a break after a distance of 300 to 500 meters” noted Liebendörfer. He added that anyone who wants to help roll the cheese is welcome to do so and that keen onlookers can stay updated on the progress of the wheel using the official website.
Once the wheel rolls across the finish line in Winterthur, its contents are in for an even longer journey: the government confirmed that parts of the cheese will be sent to Swiss embassies around the world. “In this way, the Swiss representatives in the different countries get a piece of home,” Liebendörfer concluded.