It's raw air dried beef.
The best and leanest parts of legs of beef are layered in containers with salt, Alpine herbs and a secret mixture of spices and left at low temperatures for around five weeks. The layers are rearranged every week to ensure that the pieces of raw meat are cured and seasoned evenly. Some of the original moisture content is already lost at this stage.
The second phase in the maturing process is a ten to fifteen-week drying period at an average temperature of twelve degrees Celsius. Packed in nets, the hunks of beef are dried under constant supervision in the pure, oxygen-rich air of the GraubŁnden mountain and forest regions. From time to time, the blocks are pressed on two sides. Contrary to popular belief, this is not done to give the beef its typical rectangular shape so much as to spread the moisture around evenly inside.
The manufacturing process, during which the beef loses almost half of its original weight, comprises a total of three dozen different steps, most of which involve a considerable amount of traditional craftsmanship.
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