Swiss vs Cheddar — What’s the difference?

Last Updated on January 17, 2024 by Aaron

  • Swiss cheese contains more water, and is usually aromatic, softer, and sweeter than cheddar. While cheddar has a sharper flavor.

When it comes to Swiss cheese, I think of holes. For cheddar, orange-color sharp cheese.

Is that it? there are actually more than that.

In this blog post, we will explore the differences between them and help you to decide which one is right for you!

Are they the same?

No, Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese are not the same. They have different textures and flavors.

Let’s start with cheddar cheese. Cheddar is a type of popular semi-hard crumbly cheese that is typically orange in color (dyed by annatto — otherwise white cheddar) and has a sharp, tangy taste. It is made from cow’s milk and has a relatively high-fat content.

Swiss cheese, on the other hand, is commonly referred to as Emmental cheese in the United States. It is a type of semi-hard firm cheese that is typically light yellow in color and has a nutty, creamy taste. It is made from cow’s milk and has a slightly lower fat content than cheddar cheese.

Also, Swiss cheese has “eyes” or small holes throughout it, while cheddar cheese does not. The reason for that is due to the different bacteria strains involved, watch this video of how Emmental is made. The carbon dioxide bubbles formed during the fermentation.

For the aging, both are aged cheese. Swiss cheese is typically aged for about 4-12 months, while cheddar cheese is between 2 to 18 months or more. So, Swiss cheese is a bit younger than cheddar cheese.

Is Swiss cheese healthier?

When it comes to nutrition, both Swiss cheese and cheddar cheese have good comparable amounts of calcium, vitamins, protein and fat. But overall, Swiss cheese is lighter than cheddar cheese. Also, Swiss cheese has less sodium meaning it’s not as salty. The downside is the slightly higher lactose (~3-5%) or carbohydrate content in Swiss cheese as compared to cheddar.

Texture and Melting

Cheddar cheese is a harder, crumbly cheese. Swiss cheese is a softer, creamy cheese.

Due to lower moisture and other factors, the cheddar melts slower and doesn’t get as gooey, floppy as Swiss cheese does.

Is Cheddar or Swiss better?

It has to depend on what you’re looking for. Both Swiss and cheddar cheeses are delicious and have their own set of flavors and textures. Swiss cheese is ideal to delight your guest, looking nice, and aromatics. Cheddar is a dose of strong character, a star ingredient to deepen your food flavor.

They are both healthy and natural dairy but could be containing high salt, saturated fat and cholesterol. If that’s the thing you should be concerned about.

Some people may prefer Swiss cheese because it has a slightly sweet flavor and a smooth, creamy texture. For your children, it has a good story to tell. Cheddar cheese is versatile, a little saltier and has a crumblier texture.

A Note before you go…

You can substitute Swiss cheese for cheddar cheese in many recipes. If the taste is too weak for your dish, consider using parmesan to boost up the flavor. If you want it to be more stretchy or melty-friendly, try to use gouda or mozzarella.

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