The Essential Guide To Swiss Cheese

The Essential Guide To Swiss Cheese Rebecca Gordon Publisher Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary Entertaining Techniques Alpine Cheese RebeccaGordon Birmingham Alabama

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The Essential Guide To Swiss Cheese

Swiss cheese, often referred to as Apline cheese, originated in Switzerland with hundreds of varieties available ranging from hard to soft textures. Although a good number are prepared using pasteurized cow’s milk, some are made with sheep & goat’s milk, too. They are known to have very distinctive charateristics due to the strictly adhered to practices of how the cow’s are moved through the region. In the summer, they are in the high grassland then moved to the valley during the winter months. Swiss cheese is generally cooked & made using a fermentation starter. The original wheels where known to be extremely hard in texture with thick rinds due to the process of pressing a good bit of moisture from them making the cheese ideal to store for extended periods of time. However, Swiss cheese should be thought of as a broad umbrella which encompasses a vast selection of styles that are classified according to their texture that ranges from Extra Hard to Extra Soft.

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How To Distinguish Different Types Of Swiss Cheese

P. shermanii is a bacteria used in cheesemaking. It is added when crafting Swiss cheese which releases carbon dioxide thus creating the signature holes. We’ll take a look at the basic types of Swiss available to consumers & what to expect respectively.

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Expect a shelf life of approximately 6 months for unopened packages of Swiss Cheese & two to four weeks once open depending on whether it’s a hard or soft type. The typical taste characteristics of Swiss cheese may be described more as nutty or buttery rather than sharp. 

Extra Hard 

Sbrinz is a Swiss cheese commonly used much like Parmesan. It’s extra hard texture makes it ideal for grating. Sbrinz contains approximately 40% fat, is made only with local milk & kept in the region to age at least 16 months.


Gruyere is a hard Swiss or Alpine cheese with a slightly salty, nutty flavor. It has very few holes & displays cracking the longer it ages. Gruyere may be enjoyed at room temperature or shredded & added to recipes. It offers wonderful depth to macaroni & cheese as well as appetizers when heated. Gruyere is the most popular Swiss type of cheese in Europe. 


Emmentaler is a cheese made with cow’s milk that relies on three types of bacteria for production & the holes or eyes created by them are thought of as a sign of quality. It is considered a medium-hard cheese that is often used to prepare gratins & fondue. 


Baby Swiss is a semi-soft, rindless Alpine cheese made with whole milk. It has tiny holes throughout with a lovely, silky texture. It, along with Swiss Lace, a slight variation using low-fat milk, pair beautifully with a variety of fruits & nuts. It may be sliced & added to sandwiches & hamburgers.


Tomme Vaudoise is made using unpasteurized cow’s milk & ripens in just 2 months. It’s often coated in breadcrumbs & fried or may accompany a charcuterie board consisting of dried meats, gherkins & other pickles.

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* Southern Born * Southern Bred * Tailgate Queen * Football Fanatic * Buttermilk Lipstick Culinary & Entertaining Techniques Instructor * Cooking & Baking Tutorials * Media Personality * Baking & Pastry Artist * Gardener * Runner * Retainer of Useless Pop Culture One Liners * Terrible Dancer * Even Worse Singer * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * Rebecca Gordon shares over 20 years of cooking knowledge in the instructional filled original editorial content on Buttermilk Lipstick as well as the cooking class format videos that can be found on her YouTube channel through regular collaboration with numerous media outlets. Gordon draws from an extensive background in corporate publishing spanning over 13 years on both the business and editorial side focusing on women’s southern lifestyle. She is a classically trained pastry chef and draws from fine dining restaurant experience from a James Beard award winning chef as well as her southern roots upbringing to share cooking, entertaining & style content relevant to today’s modern woman.

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