Best Substitutes for Swiss Cheese
Besides banking, fine chocolate and high-end watches, the Swiss are also famous for their cheese. This traditional food has produced for centuries by this alpine country. Not surprisingly, there are myriad types of Swiss cheese.
Nonetheless, not all varieties are really known outside the borders of Switzerland and what we most commonly recognize as Swiss cheese is the commercial variety of Emmenthal.
This hard and savory cheese can be served as a starter, used in sandwiches or as an ingredient in different dishes. Find out more about Swiss cheese and other similar cheeses you could use as a substitute.
What Distinguishes Swiss Cheese?
Swiss cheese is highly praised for its mild flavor and the capacity to melt slowly and evenly, which makes it a good choice for fondue dishes. Some of the most common recipes that work wonderfully with Swiss cheese are pizza, pasta, and, naturally, all sorts of sandwiches.
Swiss cheeses share different characteristics and they are usually associated with the popular Emmental, a semi-hard yellow cheese that is nowadays found on most supermarket shelves. Other common Swiss cheese varieties are:
- Tete de Moine
- Belper Hirn
Generally Swiss cheeses such as the ones listed above are made from cow’s milk. Because Swiss cheeses are slightly pricier and you might not always find them at your nearest grocery store, here are some alternatives you can use.
This bold English cheese is one of the most common dairy products you can find nowadays in supermarkets. Those who are not avid cheese consumers can easily mistake Emmental for Cheddar cheese. The major difference is that the first has those specific round holes, while Cheddar is compact.
This is one of the most popular and consumed cheeses worldwide and it is produced from cow’s milk across the globe. This is a hard cheese has a strong taste that intensifies as the product matures. This maturation process is long and can last for up to 15 months. Quality Cheddar is a little bit crumbly when you cut it.
Cheddar cheese has a fine texture, which makes it a good substitute for Swiss cheeses. It has a strong flavor and it is quite nutritious due to its high content of proteins and calcium.
This widely available and affordable product can be used in various recipes. Whether you want to sprinkle some of this bold cheese on your omelet or make it the highlight of your sandwich or salad, there’s always something you can do with this ingredient.
Some of the most common dishes where Cheddar cheese can blend in are pies, soups, rolls, quesadillas.
Fontina is one of Italy’s well-acclaimed cheeses. Just like Swiss cheeses, this variety also originates in the Alps. It is made with fresh, unpasteurized cow’s milk. This top-quality cheese has its peculiar characteristics, the most notable being its fine texture. Fontina is soft and buttery, which makes it an excellent choice for sandwiches or bruschetta. Due to these features and its high melting capabilities, it is considered a good alternative to Swiss cheese.
This almost spreadable cheese has the color of straw and the more it matures, the darker and drier it becomes. Fontina has small holes in it, and is a dense cheese that also has a certain degree of elasticity. Just like wines, cheeses can have various flavors and hints, and Fontina is best described as nutty. Also, hints such as honey or mushrooms make it stand out when added to different dishes or eaten individually.
Fontina is considered a highly versatile cheese that is suitable for any occasion. It pairs quite well with different types of meat, which makes it a good choice for starters and buffets that also include salami or ham.
Fontina can be used in a wide variety of dishes, especially those that originate or are inspired by Italian cuisine. You can include this tasty and affordable cheese in pasta, different types of pizza, rosemary chicken, tart, cheesy tots, gnocchi.
When you say Mozzarella, you automatically imagine a steamy pizza where this common, yet noble ingredient plays a fundamental role. Mozzarella is also a great addition to a salad where it can represent the main or sole source of protein.
Mozzarella originates in Italy and it is traditionally made from buffalo milk. However, this dairy product that can successfully replace Swiss cheese has begun to be made of cow’s milk.
Mozzarella is made in many countries nowadays, although the traditional Italian variety remains the king. This pasta-filata cheese has great melting properties. It is a soft cheese that has a glossy surface and white color, and looks and feels more ‘watery’ than hard cheese.
Mozarella can also be consumed raw and, in order to preserve it correctly, you should leave it in its natural serum and keep it in the refrigerator.
Some of the most popular recipes that can be made with mozzarella include pizza, Caprese salad, cheesecake, gnocchi, spaghetti, mushroom, and Mozarella tart, focaccia.
There are different types of cheeses you can use as a substitute for Swiss varieties and most of them cost less and have the same melting quality. Next time you’re in a supermarket looking for Swiss cheese, remember these three tasty alternatives that work equally well.