Welcome to canton Zug
It was a cloudy day when we began our road trip through canton Zug, but that did not dampen our excitement to explore this region and discover their unique artisanal cheeses. The lakes were beautiful even through the foggy mist, and the grass was the brightest shade of green despite the lack of sunshine. Surely there are happy cows living in these lush pastures!
Our visits throughout Switzerland oftentimes change our perspectives. Sometimes we think of Zug as the home to big businesses. It is true that over the years, the canton of Zug has shifted its economy towards manufacturing, construction, wholesale businesses, business consultancy, etc. – However, agriculture and animal husbandry are still flourishing in the mountain and lake regions, which include 61 high alpine pastures. Perfect for the production of high-quality fresh milk. These are the parts of canton Zug that we explore to find the hidden treasures of Swiss artisanal cheeses.
Our Discoveries in Zug
Overview of the Canton
Land Area: 238.73 km2
Population: 126,837 (décembre 2018)
Admission to the Swiss Confederation: 1352
Language: Swiss German
The Cherry Culture in Zug
The canton of Zug is known for having a climate and environment that is conducive to growing magnificent cherries. These cherries are then used in the production of a wide range of cherry products, including – cherry cakes, kirsch, cherry beer, cherry sausage, cherry cream. We even tasted artisanal cheese that was infused with cherries!
The cherry culture in Zug dates back 600 years ago and the cultivation of cherries in Zug is listed as a UNESCO living tradition in Switzerland.
If you love cherries, the Chriesimarkt (cherry market) in Zug is open for 2 or 3 weeks starting in late June, depending on that year’s yield. On 22 June 2020, the festival opens with the Chriesisturm, which is a 300-year-old tradition that marks the beginning of the cherry harvest season in Zug. It is a festival where people (including children) run through the town center to the cherry orchards carrying wooden ladders and baskets for collecting the fruit on their back. The tradition dates back to the 18th century where the Chriesigloggä (cherry bell) announces the start of the harvest season. The ringing bell indicates that the cherries are now ripe and ready for picking, but do not pick cherries before hearing the bell – it is forbidden!
For more information on the cherry festival, visit https://www.zugerchriesi.ch/