Gentle lush alpine meadows, idyllic villages, farmhouses tucked in under vast sloping roofs, and sedate richly decorated farmyards characterise the delightful charm of the landscape that produces this great cheese. Each wheel is fashioned in keeping with the artisanal tradition observed in village cheese dairies for centuries. Its tradition, appearance and outstanding quality make Emmentaler AOP the undisputed ‘king of cheeses’ worldwide.
The cheesemaker needs around 1,200 litres of natural unpasteurised milk, rennet, bacteria cultures and plenty of expertise, devotion, and time to make a wheel of cheese weighing around 95 kg. Emmentaler AOP is absolutely free of any additives or genetically modified organisms. It owes its distinctive taste to the milk produced by dairy cows left to graze naturally, traditional processing methods, and the use of propionic bacteria cultures. After the brine bath the cheese is left to mature first in a warm maturation cellar, where the characteristic holes in Emmentaler cheese are formed. The maturation process then takes place in a cool storage cellar.
The patented dairy mark is applied to one side of the wheel already at the production stage, allowing this tamper-proof mark to unite permanently with the rind. Each Emmentaler AOP wheel is branded with the distinctive red cheese dairy mark carrying the 4 to 8-digit cheese dairy number. Only this comprehensive cheese-wheel label featuring the distinctive red rays guarantees that this Emmentaler AOP is authentic, even when cut and pre-packed. Indeed, only Swiss Emmentaler AOP comes from controlled production and satisfies the stringent quality requirements of the trade organisation.
Emmentaler AOP has to be matured in the area in which it was produced for a period of at least four months. With its smooth even rind, its ivory coloured cheese paste, its cherry-sized holes, and its distinctive nutty and mild flavour, Emmentaler AOP is a genuine piece of Swiss nature and culture. It is highly prized by cheese connoisseurs as a delicacy capable of enhancing any cheese platter and complementing a full breakfast, but also as the perfect way to round off dinner. It’s also a tasty ingredient used in a variety of hot dishes.
Emmental (valley of the Emme river in the Canton of Bern)
Protection of origin:
AOP Appellation d’Origine Protégée (protected designation of origin) since 2006
Area of production:
Cantons Aargau, Bern, Glarus, Lucerne, Schwyz, Solothurn, St. Gallen, Thurgau, Zug, Zurich, and parts of Canton Fribourg
Fresh unpasteurised milk from dairy cows left to graze naturally (no silage). The use of any form of additives or genetically modified ingredients is strictly forbidden.
Shape, size, weight:
Round, flat to slightly convex wheel, 80–100 cm in diameter, 16–27 cm in height, 75–120 kg in weight (average: 95 kg)
The characteristic holes are formed as the cheese matures. The typical Emmentaler AOP holes occur during maturation. The natural fermentation produces carbon dioxide, which the cheese rind prevents from escaping meaning it accumulates in several areas of the cheese. That's how famous holes are formed. For a hard cheese, the salt content at 0.5 g / 100 g is extremely low. Emmentaler AOP is lactose-free.
Minimum 45% fat in dry matter, full fat
Naturally matured, firm, golden yellow, branded on one side with the red cheese dairy mark of Emmentaler Switzerland.
Ivory to light yellow
Supple, easy to cut, fine and crumbly with increasing maturity
Cherry-sized eyes, mostly 2-4 cm in size
Nutty and mild
At least 4 months
Average nutritional values per 100 g:
Water 36 g
Protein 29 g
Fat 31 g
Minerals 4 g
Calories 395 kcal
Joules 1640 kJ