Swiss cheese is a name for a number of cheeses that resemble Swiss Emmental cheese. This is especially true for the United States and Canada. In most cases, these cheeses are made in the US or Canada, and only resemble Emmental cheese. Like Emmental, they have holes. These holes are created by the bacteria that change milk to Swiss cheese. Propionibacterium uses the lactic acid that is produced by other bacteria, and produces carbon dioxide gas; the gas slowly forms bubbles that makes the holes. The holes of the cheese are called the "eyes", and a Swiss cheese that does not have holes is called a "blind" cheese.
In general, Swiss cheeses with larger eyes have a better taste. This is because the same factors that make the eyes larger, make the taste of the cheese better too. These factors include longer time and higher temperature given to the cheese to form.
Emmental cheese has been produced in France, Germany and Austria for a long time. For this reason, the name Emmental, or Swiss Cheese can refer to kinds of cheese that are similar, but are not produced in the Emmental in Switzerland.
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