Why Does Swiss Cheese Have Holes?

In Switzerland, people don’t call the cheese with holes in it “Swiss” cheese, as we do. They call it Emmentaler cheese. Three kinds of bacteria help to ripen Emmentaler, and one of them eats away holes in the cheese when it begins to ripen.

These holes are small at first, but when the cheese begins to “rise”, like bread, the holes get bigger and bigger. By the time the cheese is fully ripened, the holes or eyes should be about the size of a penny.

Swiss cheese is shipped in huge wheels that may weigh up to 220 pounds!