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Cheese is milk's leap towards immortality. ~ Clifton Fadiman

The term Swiss Cheese is a misnomer. You see, the same term is used to denote cheeses made in and native to Switzerland as well as cheese varieties made in other parts of the world, especially North American countries, that mimic the look and flavor of certain Swiss cheeses. Speaking of cheeses native to Switzerland, there are more than 400 varieties of cheeses that are produced all over Switzerland. Almost all types of cheeses produced in Switzerland use cow's milk and a very insignificant minority may use milk from sheep and goats. The most popular Swiss cheese that is native to Switzerland is the Swiss Emmental and it is this variety of Swiss cheese that is used as the role model for manufacturing American Swiss cheese varieties. Apart from American Swiss cheese and Swiss Emmental, Gruyère is another popular variety which is native to Switzerland but is also highly popular outside it. That being said, let's take a quick look at the number of calories in Swiss cheese, taking both the American and Swiss Emmental varieties into consideration

Swiss Cheese Calories

Here, we'll take a look at the calorific values and nutrition facts of two most popular candidates in the commercial Swiss cheese category. Read right ahead to bite into the slice of dietary facts.

American Swiss Cheese Calories and Nutrition Facts
Serving Size = 10 g
Nutrient Content Per Serving
Total fat 31 g
Proteins 5 g
Sodium 300 mg
Total Calories 40
Note: All nutritional values mentioned in this table are approximate.
Swiss Emmental Cheese Calories and Nutrition Facts
Serving Size = 10 g
Nutrient Content Per Serving
Total fat 30 g
Proteins 30 g
Total Calories 40
Note: All nutritional values mentioned in this table are approximate.

As you can see, apart from the additional sodium content in American Swiss cheese, the nutritional and calorific values of both varieties of cheese are more or less the same.

A Little Something About Swiss Cheese

The most amusing thing about authentic Swiss Emmental cheese and it's mimicked American versions is all those holes or eyes (as they are generically called). Ever wondered what makes these eyes appear and gives Swiss cheese it's signature look? Find out the answer to this and read miscellaneous other fun facts about Swiss cheese, thrown in for your amusement, in the following lines:-
  • Let's begin with the eyes. Well, most of you must be aware of the fact that cheese making involves the use of various micro organisms (certain bacteria and fungi) in order to impart specific cheeses their particular taste and texture. Making authentic Emmental involves using three distinct types of bacteria - Lactobacillus, Streptococcus thermophilus and P. freudenreichii. As Lactobacilli and S. thermophilus feed on the lactose in the milk, the primary dairy ingredient of cheese, they excrete lactic acid as a by-product of lactose metabolism. Now, once lactic acid has been produced, P. freudenreichii feed on it and excrete carbon dioxide, propionic acid and acetate as by products of lactic acid metabolism. The carbon dioxide gas, along with the now-curdled dairy, forms bubbles and when these bubbles burst, they leave behind the signature holes!
  • The calories in Swiss cheese, especially the authentic, unprocessed Swiss cheese varieties, come primarily from the fats with an insignificant few calories coming from the marginal protein content.
  • Swiss cheese is best paired with fresh fruit salads, deli meat and tangy-acidic juices (such as cranberry juice, raspberry juice, etc.). Swiss cheese can be served in its own right, topped with green or black olives, cashew nuts or salad dressing grade mustard.
  • Authentic Emmentals are extremely volatile and they have a tendency to pick up essences or flavors of other foods if stored in close vicinity of foods bearing strong aromas. That's why, when storing in the refrigerator that contains other aromatic food and herbs, it is suggested to keep this cheese well wrapped and in an airtight container.
  • Just because a Swiss cheese package appears puffed up doesn't necessarily mean it has gone bad. On the contrary, the extra ripening only serves to improve its flavor and aroma.
So, that's all about Swiss cheese calories and nutrition. Although this cheese may taste a bit off when you try it for the first time, you will hardly be able to turn down the offer of having a cube once its flavor has grown over you. As you warm up to its sweet, slightly nutty flavor, you'll hardly be able to resist it's typical appeal. Also, unlike most other cheeses, authentic Swiss cheese cannot be truly compared with any other popular cheese variety. You know why? 'Coz this 'holey-er than thou' cheese is a class in itself!