Swiss Watching trivia, No 30: Emmentaler

August 30, 2010, 2 Comments

It is the Swiss cheese, the one with the holes. This is Emmentaler, to give its proper name; Emmental is the generic name for holey Swiss cheese wherever it’s produced, but Emmentaler (with an extra ER) is a protected brand, made only in a specific area of Switzerland.

Each cheese is numbered so its origin can be traced, and each has the AOC stamp of approval, just like certain wines. It takes 12 litres of milk to produce one kilo of Emmentaler, which means that an awful lot of milk goes into a whole cheese: each round is one metre in diameter, about 25 centimetres deep in the middle and weighs up to 120 kilograms. As for the holes, they are actually trapped CO2, released by the bacteria added at the final stages of production. The technical term for the holes is eyes, which must make Emmentaler the peacock of cheeses, and their size can be controlled by changing the cooking temperature or curing time.

2 Comments on "Swiss Watching trivia, No 30: Emmentaler"

  1. Janie Tuesday August 31st, 2010 at 03:22 AM · Reply

    Would it be possible to add pronunciation help on Swiss words?

    • swisswatching Tuesday August 31st, 2010 at 07:17 AM · Reply

      I’ll think about it, though I’m not so good at writing in phonetics. German words are pretty much always pronounced as written; in that way they’re much easier than English. So Emmentaler is literally Emm-en-ta-ler, though the a is long. so it’s tah-ler not tay-ler.

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