Emmental or Emmentaler is a cheese from Switzerland. It is sometimes known as Swiss cheese in North America, Australia and New Zealand, although Swiss cheese does not always imply Emmentaler but any cheese made in Switzerland. is a yellow, medium-hard cheese, with characteristic large holes. It has a piquant, but not really sharp taste. Propionibacter shermani is one of the three types of bacteria used to make Swiss cheese, and it's responsible for the cheese's distinctive holes. Once P. shermani is added to the cheese mixture and warmed, bubbles of carbon dioxide form. These bubbles become holes in the final product.
Cheesemakers can control the size of the holes by changing the acidity, temperature, and curing time of the mixture. The two most famous original Swiss cheeses are Emmental and Gruyére, both of which are highly prized in fondues. This pale yellow cheese is made from part-skim, unpasteurized cow's milk and has a mild, slightly nutty, buttery, almost fruity flavour. This firm cheese melts easily, making it good for sauces, and it goes equally well with fruits and nuts.
American Swiss cheese: The large corporations use bulk operations to make Swiss-type cheese available at a reasonable price. These cheeses are generally labeled simply by the generic "Swiss cheese" term and are made from pasteurized cow's milk. This cheese is available sliced and shredded, in regular and low-fat varieties. Due to mass production for quick distribution, it is aged only about 4 months, and generally has a much milder flavor than the real thing. It melts easily and is widely-used in sandwiches.
Gruyére: This cheese's namesake is the valley of the same name in Fribourg, Switzerland. It differs from Emmental in that it uses a cow's milk with more fat, which naturally sweetens the nutty, buttery flavor. Gruyére is also aged anywhere from 10 to 12 months, giving it a brownish-gold rind. The center is pale yellow and the holes are much smaller and more evenly spaced than those of Emmental.
Chopped swiss cheese
Place the cheese slab on a chopping board and chop it into small pieces. Can be finely chopped or roughly chopped or chopped into big chunks as per recipe requirement.
Grated swiss cheese
This requires grating the cheese slabs in a hand held grater. This grated cheese is fine in texture and is used for making baked dishes like au gratin or casseroles.
Shredded swiss cheese
Pass the cheese through a shredder and separate the thin slices into shreds with fingers. Alternatively, you may buy packaged shredded cheese.
Sliced swiss cheese
You may place the cheese in a slicer or slice the cheese in thin or thick slices with a sharp knife, as per the recipe requirement.
Swiss cheese cubes
Turn the block of cheese on its side and make a series of slices. Lay the cheese slices on top of each other and make a series of lengthwise slices, (½ inch slices for smaller cubes, 1 inch slices for larger cubes. Make a series of ½ inch or 1 inch crosswise cuts through the cheese and it will fall away into cubes.
Swiss cheese strips
Cut the cheese block into thin or thick strips as per recipe requirement.
How to select
Swiss cheese is available sliced and shredded, in regular and low-fat varieties but it is better to purchase a wedge of cheese, as the wedge will retain moisture and freshness. When selecting a wedge of swiss cheese, try to taste cheese from that wheel, if possible. Most reputable cheese dealers will provide you with a small sample, which you should roll around in your mouth so that all of your taste buds can sense the flavor. A high quality swiss cheese will have a rich, creamy flavor and a mildly crunchy granular feeling. If it is not possible to taste the cheese, look for a wedge with even color, and no signs of cracking, excessive dryness, or moisture.
" The cheese has a rich creamy yellow color, a slightly granular texture, and a sharp, tangy, salty flavor, and is usually grated over other dishes, although it can be eaten plain
" It is a popular cheese for snacking on its own or with crackers. It is especially flavourful in melted dishes such as soup and sauce recipes
" A few dishes which use swiss cheese are mashed potatoes, shepherd's pie, macaroni and cheese, casseroles, etc.
" Cheese tastes superb between toasted wheat breads with cucumber and tomato slices.
" Grated swiss cheese can be added to omelettes, pizza, soufflés, au gratins, fondues, etc.
" Cheese makes a delightful pairing with fruits such as apples, pears and melons. Serve as appetizer or dessert.
How to store
Tightly-wrapped blocks of Swiss cheese may be refrigerated up to 2 months. Sliced Swiss cheese can last up to 1 month in the refrigerator if tightly sealed. Keep in mind that the cheese will effectively age while refrigerated, causing the flavor to become increasingly sharper. Swiss cheese may be frozen in blocks no less than 1/2 pound each. Seal each block in plastic wrap or foil and then place inside a zip-top bag. Be sure to squeeze out as much air as you can before sealing. Use within 6 months.
" Regardless of the type of milk used to create it, swiss cheese is a concentrated source of the nutrients naturally found in milk, including calcium. The one nutritional drawback of reduced-fat cheeses is that they are usually higher in sodium than full-fat natural cheeses.
" The Swiss Cheese also contains a large amount of other essential nutrients such as phosphorous, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and vitamin A
" It is a dense source of high quality protein