What is Swiss cheese? Swiss cheese is actually a generic term used in North America, Australia, and New Zealand to denote cheese that has big holes in it. In fact, there are several types of Swiss cheese, to include Emmental, Jarlsburg, Gruyere, Tillamook, Raclette, and Tete de Moine.
Where is Swiss Cheese from?
The original Swiss cheese is Swiss Emmental from Switzerland. It is a shiny, light color of yellow with a firm texture and a mild, sweet and nutty flavor. Other versions of Swiss cheese have slightly different textures and flavors, but most of them have the distinctive holes, and customers should look for cheese with holes that are of a similar size for the best piece.
The larger the holes, the better the flavor say some cheese enthusiasts.
Believe it or not, there are varieties of Swiss cheese that don’t have holes and this is called “blind” cheese. Over the years it was noticed that the holes in Swiss Cheese were getting smaller or non-existent, and scientists discovered the holes were caused by particulates in the cheee forming carbon dioxide gas bubbles, and that particulate was microscopic bits of hay.
But with more modern milk collecting nowadays, there is less hay falling into the milk, thus less holes.
How do you make Swiss cheese?
There are two methods of making Swiss cheese — traditional and modern.
Fresh cow’s milk is permitted to rest thereby the fat rises and that is skimmed off. Then, a starter culture is added and the mixture is head for 20 minutes via a wood fire. More starter culture along with rennet is added, and it forms cheese curds in around 40 minutes of heating. The curd is blended with whey and cut up into small sized pieces about the size of a pea.
Then, these curds are pressed into wooden molds to press out the whey, dry and harden. The next day the cheese is trimmed, and soaked in saltwater for 24 hours to help preserve it. Then, it is aged six or more months in a cellar environment.
Modern times calls for mass production of the cheese and it is not as hands-on as the traditional way. As in the other method, fat is skimmed from the milk and then the milk is put into huge vats that have been heated to 90 degree, and is stirred constantly.
Then, rennet and lactic acid is added, which curdles the milk and makes it into a custard texture, then they stop stirring it.
It is then cut into smaller pieces and the whey separated from the curds. These curds are then heated to 235 degrees and more whey is removed. Then, the resulting mixture is put into molds and paper is put over them. Hydraulic presses are used on the molds for 20 hours. The molds are put into brine baths for 48 hours, where the cheese absorbs salt and gets rid of any excess water, then the cheese is stored in a formation cellar with temperatures between 66 and 75 degrees, then it is cleaned, put into another cellar at 53 degrees, where it sits for several months to mature.
What is Mozzarella Cheese?
Mozzarella cheese comes from Italy. By tradition, it’s made from buffalo milk, but these days it is mostly made with sheep or cow milk since there is a high demand and not that much access to buffalo milk. The Mozzarella di Bufala is the one made with buffalo milk, plus the other kinds include Fior di Latte, which is made from fresh milk; low-moisture made from whole or part skimmed milk and Affumicata, which is a smoked cheese.
Since Mozzarella made the traditional way is very fresh, it would be best to eat it within 3 days or less, but stabilizers are added to modern commercial versions to make it last longer, but it’s not as good as fresh. In fact, it isn’t that difficult for anyone who wants to make it to do so at home.
How is Mozzarella Cheese made?
To make mozzarella cheese in the traditional fashion, you heat milk with rennet and that forms curds, which are removed from the whey and drained. It’s best if the pH level is 5.2. Then the curds are put into hot water and if soft enough they are spun to form strings, but otherwise it’s left for a bit longer. The resulting curds are kneaded, then it forms thin and shiny layers of cheese and gets folded into the shape of a ball, or it can be made into ropes or braids. It’s then put into a cold bath, and stored in either oil or brine several hours.
Commercially made mozzarella is cooked similarly, but it is drier and a bit rubbery in comparison since it has the added stabilizers and isn’t as stringy. Most traditional Italian cooks prefer traditionally made mozzarella cheese.
See the comparison: Parmigiano Reggiano vs Cheddar.
Which Cheese do I want to Use?
Swiss cheese has about 108 calories per ounce, and is very low sodium, with only 54 milligrams in an ounce serving. It also melts easily and it is usually eaten with fruit, or also in a sandwich such as salami or
Mozzarella in turn also melts easily and works well with things like pizza, salads, seafood, veggies, meats or with tomato based dishes. It has about 72 calories in an ounce, but the sodium content is higher at 175 milligrams of sodium per one ounce.
All in all the cheese you choose could get down to personal preference and the flavors or textures you prefer, but both these delicious cheeses are great tasting, very nutritious and a great food choice to add to your table.
Hey, what are those white spots on cheese? mold? Read the explanation.