This full-flavored, buttery, nutty cheese with characteristic holes is aged at least 60 days. Interestingly, American cheesemakers, not Swiss, modernized Swiss production. About 50 years ago, the only way to protect Swiss wheels as they ripened was to allow a hard rind to form. The advent of plastic packaging, which keeps moisture in but allows carbon dioxide to escape, made it possible to produce rindless Swiss cheese in blocks. Rindless blocks were developed for better yield in foodservice; retailers appreciate the higher yield and ease of cutting.
Firm; large, dime-sized eye
Mellow, buttery, nutty
Add shredded Swiss to casseroles, classic fondues or baked potatoes or traditional Swiss style Roesti potatoes.
Wisconsin Swiss cheese makes ordinary omelets, scrambled eggs and quiches extraordinary.
Goes Well With
Apples, pears, grapes
Fruity white wines like Riesling; red wines such as Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon
Wisconsin cheesemakers also produce Swiss in flavored, smoked, aged, low-sodium, reduced-fat and lacey varieties.
When a vacuum package of Swiss appears puffy, it means the cheese has continued to ripen and produce carbon dioxide, all part of the natural process and not harmful.
The tradition of making Swiss cheese in 200-pound wheels began in the middle ages when the Swiss government taxed cheesemakers on the number of pieces they produced rather than the total weight. This tradition has continued, since it produces excellent cheese with perfectly formed eyes.
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