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Emmentaler

Emmentaler

What is Emmentaler?

Aromatic, sweet and delightfully intricate in flavour, Emmentaler is a semi-hard cheese often identified by interspersed cherry-sized eyes (also known as holes). Boasting tones of ripe fruit and hazelnuts, it has no traces of acidity, and features an even rind with a firm and dense body. Regarded as an integral part of Swiss heritage, Emmentaler is deeply versatile and suited for all manners of culinary escapades.

Originally from the heartland of the Emme valley, Emmentaler is traditionally made from raw cow’s milk and can be aged for up to 18 months. Not only limited to Switzerland, German and French versions share identical qualities to those of the Swiss variant.

How Emmentaler is made

Traditional Emmentaler is made only in west central Switzerland. It is here, in the canton of Bern, that the cheese first came into being.

Production begins on the meadows surrounded by freshwater basins and hillsides. On these pastures, local cows feed on grass and hay that give Emmentaler its distinct sweet flavour. Natural whey and rennet are added to large copper cauldrons filled with raw milk, triggering the formation of curd. The curd is separated by whisks, placed in moulds and drained of any excess whey. The moulds are then brined and set to age. Temperatures are kept warm, with the purpose of cultivating the iconic eyes in the body. After a minimum of 2 months, the cheese takes on the characteristics of Emmentaler.

Containing only raw milk directly from pasture, true Emmentaler cheese is unpasteurised and full of flavour. No artificial essences or fillers are added at any point, making most versions completely free of gluten. Be sure to check the package for non-vegetarian ingredients, since Emmentaler is made in both vegetarian and non-vegetarian variants.

Substitutes for Emmentaler

Being replicated by few others, Emmentaler remains a favourite among all ages. Adding cheeses of similar styles allows for different flavours to emerge in your dish.

Stronger in taste, Gruyère relates well in dishes that call for Emmentaler. Slightly less aromatic, this cheese offers lots in the way of flavour, and melts with ease.

Featuring tones of nuts along a dense yet soft body, Swiss cheese has similar flavours and textures to those of Emmentaler. The flavour profile is sweet with a creamy finish.

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