Swiss cheese is justifiably famous for its unique quality and regularly achieves top marks in international quality competitions. About half the milk produced in Switzerland is used to make cheese. There is an art to cheese-making and it has a long tradition in Switzerland, dating back to the Roman empire. If climatic fluctuations caused a heavy decline in grain production in the mountains, cheese became an important food. It has long been typical for Swiss cheese dairies to produce natural products of the highest quality. Each individual step in the cheese-making process influences the flavour. Swiss cows eat grass in summer and hay in winter. Silage is not permitted so the natural quality of the source material, milk, can be guaranteed. Fast processing of traditionally unpasteurized milk is ensured thanks to the short journey from farmer to village cheese dairy. Even today, production follows traditional methods and recipes and the individual cheeses are traditionally hand-crafted and lovingly tended during the maturing period. The proven maxim is "quality rather than quantity!"