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Toliver

Swiss Cheese: less hole-y these days

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I love all kinds of Swiss cheese. Swiss cheese is known, of course, for its holes (called "eyes" in the industry). 

But according to this article (click) today's Swiss cheese is becoming far less "hole-y" than your grandfather's Swiss cheese. 

 ...the Swiss have determined exactly why the holes form the way they do.

The culprit? Hay.
In recent years, the holes in Swiss cheese -- known as eyes -- have gotten smaller because processing centers have gotten cleaner...

"Particulate matter" sounds more friendly than "dirt" :raz:  :laugh:  but who knew they'd discover why the holes are formed in the first place?

 

So will holes in Swiss cheese ever become a thing of the past? Or will they figure out a way to intentionally "contaminate" their cheese so the "hole-y" tradition will continue? 

And does it have to be hay to make the holes? Why don't other cultures/countries make cheeses with holes in them? Don't they have some sort of particulate matter where they make their cheese? You'd think holes in cheese would be more commonplace around the world.

Or are the Swiss just extra sloppy?   :wink:

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“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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I've had muenster cheese in the past with little teeny holes in it that was very flavorful and enjoyable.

 

I have part of brick of muenster in the fridge, and while it melts really well, it is bland, bland, bland, and this is from a person who never developed a palate for stinky cheese. This muenster is like a fattier, more solid version of cottage cheese, without even as much salt.  :wacko: You can even see curds in it, sort of.

 

The Swiss cheese I've bought lately isn't quite as bland as the muenster I'm currently working through, but I remember much, much better Swiss from past experience that had more and/or larger holes. That deep nutty flavor seems to be a victim of the non-holeyness. Holeyness seems not to be a word, but you know what I mean.  :smile:

 

Bring on the "contaminants" that have not harmed anyone in century upon century, as far as I'm concerned.


> ^ . . ^ <

 

 

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In the movie 1,2,3 the Russian food authorities reject a train load of cheese from Switzerland because it is all full of holes.  "Totally unacceptable."

 

When I was little the holes were the best part.  They still are.

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 Why don't other cultures/countries make cheeses with holes in them? Don't they have some sort of particulate matter where they make their cheese? You'd think holes in cheese would be more commonplace around the world.

Or are the Swiss just extra sloppy?   :wink:

 

Some varieties of Dutch Gouda have holes, as does English Lincolnshire Poacher cheese and I'm sure I've seen a Spanish one, but can't remember the name. I'm sure there are others.


Edited by liuzhou (log)
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Why don't other cultures/countries make cheeses with holes in them?

I love Gruyere but in a blind test I doubt I could tell it apart from Emmental and Jarlsberg, and other cheeses made with the same cultures. So if you wanted to be pedantic, it isn't just the Swiss who have holes in their cheeses. (As Liuzhou also pointed out).

But whenever I use those cheese it's always melted, so I have to say I've never paid much attention to the holes. Even on sandwiches I melt the cheese. Love the distinctive flavour of those cheeses.

In terms of the size of the holes, I am wondering if there are parallels between the differences between brie and camembert - the main difference is just the size / shape, and yet this (apparently) is responsible for the differences in flavour - sonmething to do with surface area. So maybe smaller holes in swiss style cheeses are affecting the taste?  I'm not that into cheese but would love to hear expert opinions...

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Baby Swiss has teeny tiny holes but that's because it's a young cheese. I suppose if they let it age as long as, say, an emmantaler, then the holes would be much larger.

 

I've had soft cheeses that don't have holes, per se, but definitely have a spongee-ish see-through texture. I'm not talking soft like the Brie and Camembert but softer-than-firm cheeses like Farmers. I've had a Longhorn Colby Cheddar that when served at room temperature was deliciously buttery and had that spongee texture, not smooth like most Cheddars. But I don't think that kind of texture is a result of particulates.

Thanks to the posters who've mentioned holey cheeses from non-Swiss countries. 

 

 


 

“Peter: Oh my god, Brian, there's a message in my Alphabits. It says, 'Oooooo.'

Brian: Peter, those are Cheerios.”

– From Fox TV’s “Family Guy”

 

Tim Oliver

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Cooks Illustrated recently did a taste test of swiss cheeses and Edelweiss Emmentaler came out on top, however, they did not test Jarlsberg.  I cannot imagine why not.

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