How do the holes get in the cheese?

A question that is particularly popular with children, but which many adults cannot answer either, is: How do the holes get in the  cheese ? Some might think that the holes are drilled into the cheese. That’s not true! The holes in the cheese are a natural phenomenon and can be easily explained.

Where do big holes in cheese come from?

The secret lies in the cheese maturing. At the beginning of cheese production, specially cultivated bacteria are added to the  milk  , which cause carbon dioxide as the cheese matures. Because the gas cannot escape through the dough and rind, it collects in cavities of various sizes in the cheese mass. These are the holes in the cheese.

The size of these depends on the type and amount of bacteria and the firmness of the cheese mass. For example, Emmental is stored in a fermenting cellar at 23 °C for a few weeks – this is how the large, typical holes develop.

Where are the little holes coming from?

Smaller holes appear before the cheese ripens, for example in the Tilsiter. The cheese is not pressed into the mould, but placed in it by hand. This creates a loose layering in which the smaller holes appear.


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