Lonely Planet Writer

Blessed are the cheese makers...in war-torn DRC

In the war zones of the Democratic Republic of Congo an unlikely product is flourishing: Swiss cheese. Against all odds, farmers are continuing an age-old tradition of making a popular version of the Swiss favourite Gouda.

Gouda cheese.
Gouda cheese. Image by Eelke / CC BY 2.0

The region around the Masisi mountains, 50km west of the provincial capital of Goma, has been struck by decades of conflict yet continues to churn out one of the area’s most popular exports. It is believed that Belgian monks first brought the cheese to this region of the Congo and the lush altitude pastures provided the perfect environment for the production of this dairy product. Unsurprisingly the mountainous region has itself earned the nickname ‘Switzerland of Africa’. Read more: dw.com