In today’s day and age the term Swiss cheese has become a generic name which is referred to any kind of cheese with holes unevenly scattered in it. However this is not true. There are mainly two wide varieties of Swiss cheese available in the market today. One is Emmental Cheese which gets its name from the small town in Switzerland where it was originally made. The other is the Gruyere which is the namesake of a valley in Switzerland. And then of course we have the American Swiss Cheese which is usually made in bulk by corporations for mass consumption and generally used in sandwiches as it melts easily and has a mild flavor. The original Swiss cheese has a nutty flavor and the holes are caused due to the expansion of gas when the cheese is allowed to ferment over a period of time.
In the nutritional sense, 1 slice of Swiss Cheese which is about 28.0gms has a total calorie count of 106 kcal. Total fat is 12% out of which 25% is saturated fat, 9% cholesterol, 2% sodium and total carbohydrates is 1%. Plus point is that it is low on sodium and sugar and high on calcium, phosphorus and vitamin B12. The down side is that it has extremely high saturated fat content. The total fat is 7.8gms of which 5gms is saturated fats, polyunsaturated fats is 0.3gms and monosaturated fats is 2.0gms., cholesterol is 26mg, sodium 54mg. Total carbohydrates is 1.5gm and sugars is 0.4gm and protein is 7.5gm. Vitamin A 5%, Calcium 22%Vitamin C 0% and Iron 0%.
The emmental variety is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk which is partly skimmed. The holes rage from small to as large as an olive. It is made in giant 220 pounds wheels and fermented for a minimum of 60 days. This is ideal for sandwiches and for preparing sauces.
The Gruyere however takes anywhere between 10 – 12 months to age. It uses cow’s milk with a higher fat content which gives it an almost sweet flavor. The hole shrinks down to almost unnoticeable size and is great in gratins or as a dessert cheese or appetizer.