Switzerland is a dream country to travelers for its jawdropping natural beauty. But for foodie people, Switzerland is all about its delicious Swiss chocolates and yummy Swiss cheese.
There are various types of Swiss cheeses that can be soft, mild, hard, and ideal for a range of mouth-watering Swiss cheese recipes like fondue, sandwiches, burgers, pasta, and many more. If you’re looking for the best Swiss cheeses or the best Swiss cheese brands, look no further and continue reading.
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1. TÊTE DE MOINE
Tete de Moine is a cylindrical semi-hard Swiss Cheese which is ideal for shredding and to use with a quick snack to make it more delicious. It is made from raw cow’s milk and is kept on a spruce wood board for 4-5 months before consumption.
The name Tête de Moine means ‘head of the monk’ and it was invented around eight centuries ago by monks in the Swiss Jura mountains. A special tool named ‘girolle’ is used to shave the surface of the cheese. When the shaved part comes into direct contact with air, it releases the beautiful aroma that any cheese lover will appreciate. The heavenly taste and smell make it one of the best Swiss cheese brands in the world.
2. GRUYÈRE: Popular Swiss Cheese
The name comes from the Swiss village Gruyere, a picturesque off the beaten path in Switzerland. It is a hard, creamy, unpasteurized Swiss cheese that matures after 4 months. No preservatives, artificial colors, or flavors are used to make Gruyere cheese. This is the specialty of this authentic Swiss cheese type.
Gruyere is yellow-colored, nutty, and salty in taste and has small holes(characteristic of Swiss cheese) which are formed by bacteria that are used in making the cheese. It is a widely popular table cheese as it can be eaten in slices, like in a sandwich or a burger.
Gruyere can also be used as melting cheese. It is one of the main cheeses that are used to make the traditional Swiss cheese fondue. Popular French dishes such as Croque Monsieur or Cordon Blue are incomplete without Gruyere cheese.
Sbrinz is one of the best brands of Swiss cheese which has been created with natural products for hundred of years. It contains 45% fat and takes a longer time than other popular Swiss cheese to mature. Generally, it takes more than 18 months to be savored. The more it ages, the more aromatic and delicious it tastes. It is considered one of the best aged Swiss cheeses in the world.
Sbrinz is the only cheese of Switzerland that can be eaten in 3 different ways. At the age of 18 months, it can be sliced into thin rolls. Aged 24 months, it is broken into chunks called möckli. Then it develops full flavor and can be served with any cheeseboard or appetizer. Finally, it can be grated and added as a finishing to many kinds of pasta, or risotto dishes.
4. EMMENTALER: Best Swiss Cheese Brand
Emmentaler is the most recognizable and famous Swiss cheese made from cow’s milk. It features a smooth semi-hard texture, mild taste, and large irregular holes. What most Americans generally think about Swiss cheese is actually Emmentaler.
Emmentaler cheese is made from fresh unpasteurized milk from Swiss cows who eat grass and hay within the designated areas of production, with no additives or genetically modified ingredients. Around 12 liters of cow milk are required to make one kilogram of Emmentaler Swiss cheese.
It is an authentic Swiss cheese with a buttery flavor and melting ability that makes it perfect to prepare the best Swiss cheese recipes like fondue and gratin. The first Emmentaler was created more than 800 years ago in the valley of the Emme River.
L’Etivaz is a traditional Swiss cheese made in the summer(between May and October) when the cows can graze on Alpine meadows in the Vaud region. L’Etivaz is still continuing the ancient traditions of Swiss cheese-making and tells how Gruyère cheese would have been made hundreds of years ago.
The raw cow milk is heated in copper vats over an open wood fire, resulting in a smokiness when eating the cheese. L’Etivaz has a dense and creamy texture and can be matured in between five and 13 months. This type of Swiss cheese can be stored for very long periods.
6. TILLAMOOK SWISS CHEESE
Tillamook is another delicious Swiss cheese that is still continuing the traditional cheese-making process. This award-winning Swiss cheese is shredded straight from the block and can be used in burgers and sandwiches to enhance the taste with its bold and nutty flavor.
Tillamook Swiss cheese is made from pasteurized cow milk and can be consumed after 75 days. Their passion for old traditional process and uncompromising standards with ingredients results in some of the best Swiss cheeses.
This delicious cheese of Switzerland can be easily grilled or baked and can be served with fresh bread and crackers. Each slice of the cheese is rich in protein and a high nutrition value.
Appenzeller is not only one of the best places to visit in Switzerland but also one of the best Swiss cheesemakers in the world. It is hard and offers probably the best flavor among all other Swiss cheeses. Appenzeller cheese has been produced traditionally for the last 700 years in Appenzellerland located in the northeastern part of Switzerland where you still find people wearing traditional Swiss dress.
When the cheese cures, it is regularly washed with a secret herbal brine comprised of cider, wine, herbs, leaves, and spices. The cows are fed with fresh grass, wildflowers, herbs, and hay which results in top quality Swiss cheese. Appenzeller produces 100% natural cheese with no preservatives, flavors, or colors.
The cheese develops the full aromatic flavor after 3 months. It has a firm and smooth texture with tangy, spicy, and fruity flavors. There are three types of aged Appenzeller cheese: Classic( 3 – 4 months), Surchoix(4 – 6 months, and Extra(6 months or longer) which are perfect for making some of the best Swiss cheese recipes.
8. SMOKED SWISS CHEESE
This unique type of Swiss cheese has a separate fan base for its stronger and firm flavor with a smoky note which makes it more alluring for true cheese lovers.
Smoked Swiss cheese generally produced in two ways – cold smoking and hot smoking. The cold smoking method cooks the food at between 20° to 30° Celcius, whereas hot smoking partially or fully smokes the food at 40° to 90 °C.
Among the various types of Swiss cheese available, the Swiss smoked cheese is different due to its full raw flavor and buttery taste. Ideally, this type of cheese is yellowish-brown color.
Raclette is a semi-hard, ivory-light yellow-colored Swiss cheese that is produced from the Alpine cow’s milk. It has a smooth and creamy texture with small irregular holes. Most of the Swiss cheeses are healthy and needless to say, Raclette is rich in protein, calcium, and vitamin A and it contains 50% fat.
Raclette has exceptional melting properties and is commonly used in traditional fondue and filling sauce for fresh salads and crispy vegetables. The semi-hard slice can also be consumed with potatoes, cornichons, pickled onions, and other warm beverages. However, Raclette cheese is ideal for pizza lovers who want extra shredded delight on top of their favorite pizza.
10. SCHARFE MAXX
Der Scharfe Maxx is one of the best Swiss cheeses that is produced in the canton of Thurgau near Lake Constance, a popular destination for hiking in Switzerland. The Studer family was there behind this lip-smacking Swiss cheese who decided to create something new through innovation and experimentation. Now the cheesery is run by the third generation.
Their cheese is nutty, oniony, bacony, and has an excellent melting quality. Scharfe Maxx cheese is made from fresh thermalized milk from the area around Lake Constance and develops a unique flavor. They beautifully blend tradition with innovation. With their constant experiment, creativity, and deep passion, Scharfe Maxx took the Swiss cheese industry to another level.
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