Interview with Walter Burri, KALTBACH cave master
How do you become a KALTBACH cave master?
The role of a cave master isn’t an official career. You become a cheese expert. The specific knowledge required for the production of cheese in a natural setting, like the particular characteristics and trials of the ripening process is passed on from cave master to cave master. For this you need a good and creative colleague who can actively support you.
How long have you been a cave master for?
Over 30 years - and it’s been a beautiful and challenging period of time (almost a second love of mine).
How many hours a day do you spend in the cave?
The cave is in my thoughts 24 hours a day. Physically, I’m only there around one hour per day as my colleagues are there to take care of most of the daily tasks.
How many cheese wheels are you responsible for?
More than 100' 000 KALTBACH cheese wheels ripen in our cave.
How heavy is the biggest cheese wheel that you have to move?
Personally, I move very few by hand. A KALTBACH Emmental AOP weighs 100 kg. Lots of cheese wheels must be moved every day. As such, we have machines which help us with this.
What has been your greatest gourmet moment with KALTBACH so far for you personally?
When I’m invited to a friend’s house for a cheese plate and there’s a piece of KALTBACH there. A piece of our (my) cheese!