Name Variations Edit
- Bavarian Swiss cheese
About Emmental Edit
Wikipedia Article About Emmental on Wikipedia
Emmental, Emmentaler, Emmenthal, or Emmental cheese is a Swiss cheese. It is sometimes known as Swiss cheese in the US, although Swiss cheese does not imply Emmental.
The cheese originally comes from the Emme valley in the canton of Bern. Unlike other cheese varieties, the denomination "Emmental" is not protected. Hence, Emmental of other origin, especially from France and Bavaria, is widely available. Even Finland is an exporter of Emmental.
Emmental is a yellow, medium-hard cheese, with characteristic large holes. It has a piquant, but not really sharp taste. Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmental, Streptococcus thermophilis, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacter shermani. In the late stage of cheese production, P. shermani consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria, and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that make holes.
It features prominently in the cuisine of the United States where it is a standard cheese for use in the preparation of sandwiches, albeit often substituted by cheaper cheese.
In cooking, it is often put on top of gratins, dishes which are then put in the oven to let the cheese melt and become golden-brown and crusty.
Switzerland's oldest and most important cheese, Emmentaler has a distinctively nutty-sweet, mellow flavor that makes it perfect for almost any use-from snacks to an apres-dinner fruit-and-cheese plate. This cow's-milk cheese is light gold in color, with marble-size holes and a natural light brown rind. It was named for Switzerland's Emmental valley and is exported in giant wheels weighing from 150 to 220 pounds each.