Swiss cheese is a yellow hard cheese originally created in the town of Emmental in Switzerland. This is where Swiss cheese gets its proper name Emmental or Emmentaler. Swiss cheese is one of the most popular types of cheese all around the world. It is best known for the irregular holes, known as eyes, in the cheese. If you have ever wondered what causes these holes in Swiss cheese, keep reading to find out.
What causes the holes in Swiss cheese?
The holes in Swiss Cheese occur naturally during the manufacturing process. The cheese is made by adding three types of bacteria to the milk to curdle it. Two of these bacteria excrete lactic acid and the third eats the lactic acid and excretes carbon dioxide. Some of this carbon dioxide gets trapped when the cheese is pressed and even more is produced while the cheese is aging. This carbon dioxide builds up in the dense cheese until it forms bubbles that create the holes for which Swiss cheese is famous.
Did you know?
There are many cheeses that are marketed as Swiss cheese, but the only true variety is Swiss Emmental or Emmentaler. It is aged for a minimum of 4 months up to 14 months for the premier varieties.
In the United States, Baby Swiss is one of the most popular types of Swiss cheese. Even though this is closely related to the traditional cheese the flavor is quite different.