Swiss Emmental is one of the great cheeses of the world. It proudly carries both the ‘Red Label’ that guarantees the quality of ingredients and the European Union’s IGP (Indication Geographicque Protegee), symbolising a production process that still adheres to the traditional method of cheese making that forbids additives and colouring agents. This style of cheese is so popular, it has been created by artisan cheesemakers around the world – most notably in France where it is made from pasteurised milk.
Authentic Swiss Emmental is made from the raw milk of cows that have been fed on the lush pastures from high mountain meadows and on hay which has no ensilage. Master cheesemakers then cook and press the cheese into huge rounds with a washed and brushed rind. The cheese develops its mild sweet aroma, firm texture and distinctive mild taste during as much as 18 months ageing time.
Interestingly, the holes created during the fermentation process that now give the cheese its unique appearance were once considered an imperfection and avoided by cheesemakers.
Emmental is as popular as a cooking cheese as it is on the cheeseboard and is an essential ingredient in many classic dishes. Store it wrapped in waxy parchment and sealed in a plastic container in the fridge – and even if it is to be used in cooking, it should first be brought to room temperature.