Emmental (Swiss) big holes; Roquefort (French) small holes, some black! Yum.

Christine Hyde

Dear Crikey.

Ignaz Amrein writes:
I was born in Switzerland and lived there for the first 24 years of my life. I reckon Peter Beattie confused Gruyere with Emmental cheese, which has a lot of holes. As a matter of fact, a few years ago there was a crisis concerning the Emmental cheese, there were no more holes. I can’t remember how they solved this huge problem. Anyway, I have Fondue regularly during winter, using 2/3 of Gruyere and 1/3 of Emmental (if there is enough interest, I’m happy to send you a simple and very tasty recipe) and I can’t remember seeing any holes in the Gruyere. Who cares anyway, once the cheese has melted they’re all gone! Getting back to Peter Beattie, what he was really saying, is, that there is substance to the rumour.

i was so irritated by your first experts tone that i rattled of my
brief ‘it does have holes’ message with little thought. The full story
is more like this. The two big cheeses of Switzerland, Emmentaler and
Gruyere both have (or as we shall see, had) holes. Gruyere has smaller
holes. Modern processing has become so sterile that the big business
cheese no longer has holes and i remember much concern that the famous
Swiss cheese would not be recognisable! I think there was even talk
of how to artificially introduce holes so the cheese would be
recognisable. So your expert probably does have hole-free Gruyere in
his fridge, but I would give bonus points to Beattie for knowing the
name of the cheese rather than using the English generic ‘Swiss
This is really a very stupid thing to be worrying about, but maybe
there are important and deep meanings to the cheese discussion.
thanks for all the news,
Rob Bester

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