Here’s the scientific discovery of the week: how the holes in Swiss cheese got there.
Despite what you may have been told as a child, they are not caused by mice nibbling away inside cheese wheels.
Experts from Agroscope, a state centre for agricultural research, said the phenomenon – which marks famous Swiss cheeses such as Emmental and Appenzell – was caused by tiny bits of hay present in the milk and not bacteria as previously thought.
They found that the mystery holes in such cheeses became smaller or disappeared when milk used for cheese-making was extracted using modern methods.
“It’s the disappearance of the traditional bucket” used during milking that caused the difference, said Agroscope spokesman Regis Nyffeler, adding that bits of hay fell into it and then eventually caused the holes.
There’s more at the link.
I can already see someone trying to use this research to sell ‘organic Swiss cheese’. How will buyers know it’s organic? Because compared to factory Swiss cheese, it’ll be ‘hole-ier than thou’!