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Swiss cheese

Swiss cheese

About Swiss cheese Edit

Swiss cheese is the generic name, in the United States and Canada, for several related varieties of cheese, all of which resemble the Swiss Emmenthaler. It has a distinctive appearance, as a block of the cheese is riddled with holes known as eyes.

The use of Swiss cheese as a generic name for a type of cheese (as opposed to a descriptor of national origin) is not common in the United Kingdom or elsewhere in the English-speaking world, where the cheeses are usually distinguished individually. As well, that type of cheese is called fromage suisse (Swiss cheese) in Canadian French language usage, but not in European French-speaking countries.

Three types of bacteria are used in the production of Emmentaler cheese: Streptococcus thermophilis, Lactobacillus, and Propionibacter shermani. In a late stage of cheese production, P. shermani consumes the lactic acid excreted by the other bacteria, and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that make up the eyes. Swiss cheese without eyes is known as "blind".

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