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Trivia: The Holes in Swiss Cheese

The holes in Swiss cheese are known as "eyes."

These holes are caused by bubbles that are produced by bacteria called Propionibacter during the late stage of cheese production. The larger the eyes, the better flavor of the cheese. Swiss cheese with no eyes are known as "blind."


The holes are made from a gas produced from the cheese, some cheeses don't produce enough of them so sometimes they are chemically injected with that gas. I don't think it affects the flavor that much.
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The bacteria called Propionibacter is responsible for the holes but since you can buy swiss without the wholes and that taste just as good, I don't believe they are a factor in the taste.
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I'm Swiss, and for one there's plenty of kinds of Swiss cheese that doesn't have holes. I must admit I have no clue where the holes actually come from, might well be bacteria, but it's certainly not a "bigger holes, better taste" relationship we're talking about.

You don't see me saying "Americans stem from cowboys, that's why they like guns so much. The larger an American's gun, the more of a patriot he is", that'd make about as much sense.
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@Guido-
To be sure, what Americans call "Swiss Cheese" refers to a *specific* sort of cheese (Emmentaler), not all cheese from Switzerland. The term "Emmentaler" is pretty much unknown in the US, though -- the guy at the sandwhich shop will never know that term. For sure, Switzerland produces other cheese besides this, but here "Swiss cheese" ALWAYS means "Emmentaler" to 99.9% of the population.

Similarly, there are many varieties of cheese produced in the U.S., but "American Cheese" always means nasty processed factory cheese "stuff". Cheddar, Colby, &c produced within the US are commonly labelled with State of origin (New York, Wisconsin, Vermont are typical).

Just for the record, what do Swiss call the holes in Emmentaler?
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Hi All.
In the case of "Emmenthaler" the Propionibacter inside is the reason for them BIG holes. In other Products (like Alp-Cheese, Appenzeller, Tilsiter...) the holes are smaller and fewer than in the "Emmenthaler". All kinds of different "Good-Bacterias" (Milchsäurebakterien) can help to create "taste". Simply said: they "eat" the Milksugar and digest it to gas which creates the holes. YES! You're right. The fart is the hole. And we simply say "Loch" to the hole;)

www.schweizeralpkaese.ch
www.zalp.ch
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