cheezy cheese knowledge
Using a survey, we asked our community what they always wanted to know about cheese. We received over 100 questions, summarised them and then grouped them together. On an ongoing basis, we will now publish our answers here briefly and crisply and make you the ultimate cheese expert. Have fun expanding your cheese knowledge.
History and cheese culture
Soft cheese does not have a great tradition in Switzerland - unlike in France, for example. One reason for this is that the varietal association mainly promoted varietal cheeses until 1995 and therefore the production of soft cheeses was less profitable for the cheese dairies. Another reason is that, historically, the production of cheese was used to preserve milk, which is why hard cheeses were produced. This was especially important for the cheese makers on the alpine pastures in order to prolong the shelf life of the cheese.
Through the constant innovation of the cheesemakers - each cheese variety is unique, which is influenced by the production process, the cultures used and the care during the ripening of the cheese. On our blog you will find a portrait of cheesemaker Melchior Schoch from the Bio Berghofkäserei, who is always experimenting with new cheese varieties.
The Emmental loaf is so large because it was increasingly exported to Russia in the 18th century. Russia then introduced a piece duty on cheese imports. To pay less, the loaves were simply made larger (approx. 100 kg).
The milk composition, especially with regard to fatty acids, varies slightly depending on the feed. However, it is difficult to make a general statement. It also always depends on the ripening cellar and the climate there. This leads to a great variety of alpine and also valley cheeses in Switzerland.
This can be cheese with seasonal ingredients (wild garlic, herbs, etc.). Alpine cheese is also a seasonal cheese because it is only produced in summer. Variety cheeses, for example, are not seasonal cheeses and are produced all year round to ensure trade.
That is difficult to say. In general, we observe at cheezy that Ticino alpine cheeses are among the more expensive cheeses in Switzerland
That is completely individual. A new variety is carefully tested, stored and tasted before it goes on sale. Sometimes new innovations are also the result of "mistakes" in production. If well documented, these are produced again with the same parameters.
Cheese should be part of a healthy and balanced diet. Besides calcium and proteins, cheese also contains vitamins A, B2, B12 and K2.
Yes, lactose is broken down during cheese production and ripening. Semi-hard and hard cheeses can be eaten by lactose-intolerant people without any problems. During the cheese-making process, the whey and thus a large part of the lactose is separated. During cheese ripening, the bacteria used consume the remaining lactose. Click here to read our blog article "Is raclette lactose-free?
Swiss cheese contains relevant amounts of vitamin K2 and is rich in vitamins A, B2 and B12. Vitamin K2 plays a central role in blood clotting and has a positive influence on bone and cardiovascular health, as well as on inflammatory processes. Vitamin A and B2 ensure a good immune system and vitamin B12 is relevant for blood formation and nerve function in our body.
Three portions of milk and dairy products per day are considered ideal for children over seven and adults. The recommended portion sizes for adults for cheese vary depending on the type: 60g for soft cheese, 40g for semi-hard and hard cheese.
Yes. Basically, there are two types of mould. There are both toxic moulds and non-toxic moulds. The mould used on soft cheese is non-toxic. This is also known colloquially as noble mould.
Taste, appearance & texture
This has to do with the duration and type of ripening and storage. The longer the cheese matures in the cellar, the more ripe it becomes.
Cheese made from winter milk, for example, is lighter and whiter. Cheese made from summer milk, when the cows eat a lot of grass, is slightly more yellow in colour.
This depends on the process parameters during cheese production, the composition of the bacterial cultures and the conditions during ripening.
Various aromatic substances present in the cows' feed can pass into the milk and thus influence the taste of the cheese.
Mainly for the taste. However, the mould on the cheese also serves as a protective layer so that nothing unwanted can grow.
During the ripening period, the added propionic acid bacteria break down the lactic acid and thus form CO2. This gas and this process are responsible for the typical large holes in Emmentaler.
storage & shelf life & maturing
Cheese must always be stored in the refrigerator. Best under a cheese cover or wrapped in cheezy cheese paper. Yes not leave completely open in the refrigerator, because otherwise it dries out faster.
Once the best-before date has been exceeded, the cheese does not immediately go bad from one day to the next. A semi-hard or hard cheese (without fillings, herbs, etc.) that smells, looks and tastes good as before can still be eaten a few days after the best-before date.
Yes, but it depends on what you use it for afterwards. We do not recommend eating the cheese cold after freezing. The formation of water crystals during freezing destroys the structure and texture of the cheese. Many types of cheese become crumbly. This is not a problem with raclette or processed cheese. You can find more tips & tricks for freezing cheese on our blog.
No, better not. There is a risk that it will freeze. It also takes longer for the cheese to "warm up" before eating.
Most cheeses are matured on wooden boards in a cheese cellar. The cheese must be swept regularly to ensure even rind formation. It must also have access to air and is treated regularly. Parmesan and Sbrinz are matured the longest (+2y.).
For soft cheese: YES! With semi-hard or hard cheese, opinions differ. Here the rind is considered inedible - but nothing should happen if you eat it anyway. The rind has the function of protecting the cheese and is also the less enjoyable part of the cheese in terms of taste.
After packing, the rind continues to ripen and develop - which is why it can develop a strong odour in the packaging.