Swiss cheese is a generic name for several related varieties of cheese which resemble the Swiss Emmental. Some types of Swiss cheese have a distinctive appearance, as the blocks of the cheese are riddled with holes known as "eyes". Swiss cheese has a savory, but not very sharp, taste. Swiss cheese without eyes is known as "blind".
Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmental cheese: Streptococcus salivarius subspecies thermophilus, Lactobacillus (Lactobacillus helveticus or Lactobacillus delbrueckii subspecies bulgaricus), and Propionibacterium (Propionibacterium freudenreichii subspecies shermani). In a late stage of cheese production, the propionibacteria consume the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria and release acetate, propionic acid, and carbon dioxide gas. The carbon dioxide slowly forms the bubbles that develop the "eyes". The acetate and propionic acid give Swiss its nutty and sweet flavor. Historically, the holes were seen as a sign of imperfection and cheese makers originally tried to avoid them by pressing during production. In modern times, the holes have become an identifier of the cheese.
In general, the larger the eyes in a Swiss cheese, the more pronounced its flavor because a longer fermentation period gives the bacteria more time to act. This poses a problem, however, because cheese with large eyes does not slice well and comes apart in mechanical slicers. As a result, industry regulators have limited the eye size by which Swiss cheese receives the Grade A stamp.
Baby Swiss and Lacy Swiss are two varieties of US Swiss cheeses. Both have small holes and a mild flavor. Baby Swiss is made from whole milk, and Lacy Swiss is made from low fat milk.
The largest manufacturer of Swiss cheese in the US is Brewster Dairy, located in Brewster, Ohio.
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Famous quotes containing the words cheese and/or swiss:
“I may be able to spot arrowheads on the desert but a refrigerator is a jungle in which I am easily lost. My wife, however, will unerringly point out that the cheese or the leftover roast is hiding right in front of my eyes. Hundreds of such experiences convince me that men and women often inhabit quite different visual worlds. These are differences which cannot be attributed to variations in visual acuity. Man and women simply have learned to use their eyes in very different ways.”
—Edward T. Hall (b. 1914)
“Some of the smartest women in the country said that theyre too embarrassed to attend their reunions at Harvard Business School if they have dropped out of the work force, left the fast track by choosing part-time work, or decided to follow anything other than the standard male career path.”
—Deborah J. Swiss (20th century)