Say cheese, Swiss style

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    Cheese has been a staple diet in sites all over the world for thousands of years, with evidence of cheese-making dating all the way back to 5,500 BCE. However, over the past few centuries, one cheese in particular has quickly taken over cheese-lovers’ hearts: Swiss.

    Swiss cheese is a shiny, pale yellow cheese that is best known for being spotted with holes. Swiss has a milder flavour than many other cheeses, which makes it a popular choice as a pairing with other foods and fine wines.

    However, to many peoples’ dismay, the cheese we first think of when we think “Swiss” is actually an Americanized version of one of the original Switzerland-made cheeses known as Emmental. 

    Emmental represents only a very small sliver of the cheeses hailing from Switzerland. In fact, Emmental is just one type of cheese among about 450 different types of cheese produced in the country. We composed a list of the 8 most popular aside from the notorious Emmental.

    Sbrinz

    Claimed to be the oldest European cheese dating back to 70 AD, this hard cheese is typically compared to Parmesan and is often used for the same purposes. 

    Gruyère

    This cheese is often seen as the second most popular type of Swiss cheese right after Emmental. Gruyère is the ideal cooking cheese for its ability to melt, and is used often in French onion soup and in fondues.

    Schabziger/Sap Sago

    A very distinctive cheese due to its cone-shape and green color, Schabziger is one of the healthier Swiss cheese options. The cheese is made with skim milk and is essentially fat-free. 

    Appenzeller

    Having a more fruity flavour than the other types of Swiss, this cheese is sold at different stages of its aging process. 

    Raclette

    Most commonly used for melting, this type of cheese also refers to the Swiss dish it is used to make. Raclette, the dish, is made by heating the Raclette cheese and then scraping off the melted part.

    Tête de Moine

    One of the most pungent cheeses, Tête de Moine is often served in an incredibly thin format. Its name translates to “Monk’s Head,” which is in reference to the monastery where it was originally produced.

    Vacherin Fribourgeois and Vacherin Mont d’Or

    Both of these cheeses are made from cow’s milk, although Vacherin Fribourgeois is the firmer of the two and is often used in fondue recipes. 

    Because Swiss has grown to be such a popular cheese, a world championship called the Swiss Cheese Awards is held every year to determine who has the best Swiss cheese. This past year, 830 cheeses competed to win in front of over 100 jurors.