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Author Topic: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?  (Read 4854 times)

Offline P-Kasso2

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How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« on: 13 November, 2011, 02:49:05 PM »
                           

Is it a natural process? It has to be something special otherwise wouldn't all cheeses have holes?

And are the holes in a Jahlsberg cheese created in exactly the same way as holes in a Gruyere?
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Offline antonymous

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #1 on: 13 November, 2011, 03:12:25 PM »
I'm tempted to say they get them from a (w)holesaler - but I wont! OOPS I have :-[
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Offline seacommander

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #2 on: 13 November, 2011, 06:17:43 PM »
Hello PK. These are all very 'holesome cheeses I must say.
The holes in cheeses such as Emmental, Jarlsberg and Gruyere are the result of entrapped gas, mainly carbon dioxide, produced by bacteria used in the maturing process. The specific bacteria used are often highly guarded trade secrets since they each impart their own characteristic flavour.
‘But actually it's the work of armies of microbes, specifically Propionibacteria shermanii. The P. shermanii consume the lactic acid excreted by other bacteria (the ones that cause the milk to turn into cheese in the first place) and belch, toot, and otherwise exude copious amounts of carbon dioxide gas. This produces what the Swiss-cheese industry, hoping to distract from the reality of the matter, calls "eyes." It's a beautiful, natural process, with the advantage that it enables cheese makers to charge good money for a product that by law is partly air. ‘

http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/2296/why-does-swiss-cheese-have-holes-in-it

‘The holes in Swiss cheese come from bacteria that form during the aging process. This specific type of bacteria is unique to Swiss cheeses due to the type of starter used and the specific temperature the cheese wheels are stored at during aging. This bacteria gives off carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide forms bubbles in the cheese and when the bubbles "pop" holes are created. ‘

http://cheese.about.com/od/cheesebasics/f/swiss_holes.htm
« Last Edit: 13 November, 2011, 06:19:14 PM by seacommander »

Offline AtMyWitzEnd

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #3 on: 13 November, 2011, 07:59:27 PM »
Jahlsberg has medium to large holes and was copied from Emmental, the Swiss cheese with similar holes.

In these cheeses, the holes are created by CO2 bubbles trapped during production. Normally, bacteria is cheese during manufacture (such as Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactobacillus) excrete lactic acid which causes the milk proteins (casein) to tangle into solid masses, or curds. Normally the acid is removed with the whey when the cheese is pressed. With this type of cheese, the pressing is inconsistent leaving lactic acid within the cheese. Another bacteria, Propionibacterium freudenreichii consumes the lactic acid and releases carbon dioxide gas, which slowly forms the bubbles that make the holes is the cheese.

Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #4 on: 14 November, 2011, 07:33:46 AM »
Well. Thank you very much chaps…and there was I thinking that maybe those wily cheese boffins of Jahlsberg, Gruyere and Emmenthal probably just shot air into the cheeses with some kind of industrial-sized air rifle.

So it is all down to well-trained bacteria? - the splendidly named Propionibacteria shermanii and Propionibacteria freudenreichii and their pals Streptococcus thermophilus  and Lactobacillus!

Your answers twigged off a further question: Is that all these busy bacteria do…make cheese holes for a living?

Do they do anything else helpful to the non-cheese eating sections of mankind?

But first, a diversion...Just had a stray thought...when I was a lad I used to have a massive old tome I picked up in a junk shop for coppers...it was an 1878 leather-bound collection of that year's Punch magazines. It was the first time ever I had heard of Punch magazine and (back on topic) the first time I had ever encounted the strange word 'Gruyere'.

Beautifully illustrated cartoon jokes, excecuted in the finest Victorian steel-pen style of drawings (far better than today's trend for skimpy visuals).

Anyway, I am about to share with you not only the very first time I came across the word 'Gruyere' but also what is probably the worst cheese joke I have ever heard...

Picture this ,if you will, as we open the 1878 August edition of Punch (aka the London Charivari)...

A Victorian waiter is gloomily serving a affluent suited-and-booted Colonel Blimp type, complete with mutton chops, winged collar, monocle, etc. They are in a restaurant (or, more likely, a gentleman's club somewhere off St James's).

Colonel, staring at his plate, to the abject waiter..."What's this cheese here?"

Waiter…”It’s Gruyere, Sir”.

Colonel…”Well bring me something that grew somewhere else!”


Ah, almost chortling but not quite, they just don’t write gags like that anymore.

All of which neatly slides us seamlessly back to today's burning question of those busy bacteria…

Do they do anything else (beneficial or otherwise) on their days off from the cheese factory?


« Last Edit: 14 November, 2011, 07:54:10 AM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline antonymous

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #5 on: 14 November, 2011, 09:27:16 AM »
Propionibacteria shermanii and Propionibacteria freudenreichii and their pals Streptococcus thermophilus  and Lactobacillus are planning to take over the world from their stronghold in our noses.

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Offline P-Kasso2

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #6 on: 14 November, 2011, 11:25:52 AM »
Streptococcus Thermophilus....Propionibacteria.... and Lactobacillus...

Sounds just like the new government in Italy. Maybe the bugs' bid for world domination as already started!

Warning!!!Highly Dangerous!    If you see this character do NOT Approach it!
« Last Edit: 14 November, 2011, 11:34:28 AM by P-Kasso2 »
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Offline AtMyWitzEnd

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #7 on: 15 November, 2011, 01:46:10 AM »
These "probiotics" or "lactic acid bacteria" are used in the production of many other fermented food products such as yogurt, sauerkraut, pickles, beer, wine, cider and chocolate as well as animal feed silage. Sourdough bread is also made using a "starter culture," which is a symbiotic culture of yeast and lactic acid bacteria growing in a water and flour medium.

Streptococcus thermophilus supposedly promote gastrointestinal health and is the starter bacteria strain (along with Lactobacillus bulgaricus) used in those "probiotic" yogurt. There may be some science behind these claims as a specific strain of Streptococcus thermophilus (TH-4) is used to treat intestinal mucositis, a severe (often fatal) inflammation of primarily the small intestines, which is a common side effect of the cancer treatment Chemotheraphy.

Its not all good news though ... the Lactobacillus species are beneficial in the gut as they produce acid which inhibits the growth of many other harmful bacteria. However this is not always a useful feature as Lactobacillus species are one of the major causes of dental caries (tooth decay).

The Propionibacterium species also occur naturally in humans and other animals, notably around the sweat glands, sebaceous glands, and other areas of the skin. They have been implicated in the formation of acne.

The Lactic acid bacteria are also fundamental in the breakdown of dead plant matter as they can ferment the carbohydrates into acids which encourage further decomposition and encourage the growth of these bacteria.

Offline antonymous

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #8 on: 15 November, 2011, 08:07:39 AM »
"The nose and throat are important sites of pathogen colonization, yet the microbiota of both are relatively unexplored by culture-independent approaches," says Katherine Lemon of Children's Hospital Boston, a lead author on the study that also included researchers from Harvard Medical School, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, San Francisco.

Until now most of the knowledge of bacteria living in the nose and throat has been generated using culture-based techniques and has primarily focused on identifying pathogenic bacteria. In this study, Lemon and her colleagues examined and compared the bacterial communities from the noses and throats of seven healthy adults using two different culture-independent methods one of which was a 16S rRNA microarray, called the PhyloChip, which possesses 500,000 probes and can detect approximately 8,500 different genetically distinct groups of bacteria.

Despite the close physical connection between the nose and throat, the researchers found distinct differences in bacterial populations. In the nose the majority of bacteria found were of the phyla Firmicutes and Actinobacteria and compared to other areas of the body that had been studied the distribution was most reminiscent of the skin. In the throat the majority of bacteria were of the phyla Firmicutes, Proteobacteria and Bacteroidetes and the distribution was more similar to that found in saliva.

They also found an inverse relationship between the prevalence of the Staphylococcaceae family of bacteria, whose members include important pathogens like Staphylococcus aureus, and Corynebacteriaceae and Propionibacteriaceaea families, whose members are more commonly benign commensals."
ScienceDaily (June 21, 2010)
« Last Edit: 15 November, 2011, 08:09:21 AM by antonymous »
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Offline seacommander

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Re: How do they get the holes in Jahlsberg and Gruyere cheeses?
« Reply #9 on: 15 November, 2011, 11:51:21 AM »
Is this the anthem for Swiss Cheeses?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lJBxK0IQ6XE

Offline P-Kasso2

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