U.S. Dairy Products > Cheese > Cheese Categories

Swiss Cheeses

Varieties Include:swiss cheese

  • Baby Swiss
  • Swiss
  • Gruyère  

Manufacturing Process

Swiss and baby Swiss cheeses are made with a specific propionic culture that gives off carbon dioxide. This is what forms the holes or "eyes" so familiar in these cheeses. Traditionally Swiss was made in 90.8-kilogram (200-pound) wheels because that was the biggest size one man could work and turn in the aging room. This large size was also a way for cheese makers in the Middle Ages to reduce their tax burden, as taxes on cheese were by the piece. Swiss is typically made with part-skim milk, which results in a firmer, more resilient body than baby Swiss, typically produced with whole milk. Baby Swiss is made in smaller sizes, with smaller and fewer eyes.  

Gruyère is the washed-rind member of the family, with a dense body and infrequent pea-sized holes. Gruyère is washed with a smear regularly, at decreasing intervals, throughout its many months of ripening. The washes are discontinued in time for the rind to dry out prior to shipping.  


Swiss, available in a rindless version, has excellent slicing and shredding properties. It melts when shredded or sliced thin, but firms up after cooling. Baby Swiss has good slicing and shredding properties, and melts readily in any application. Gruyère shreds well, melts readily and resists separation.

Key Applications

These cheeses are traditional in fondues, as well as soup toppers, ingredients in baked goods, soups, sauces, quiches, gratins, roulades, gourmet pizza applications and more. Wherever good melting and full flavor are required, this family has a cheese to fit the need. Aged gruyère is a favorite on the cheese board, too.  

Marketing Advantages

World class quality. Convenient rindless versions reduce waste and increase ease of slicing. European-style, gourmet appeal, particularly in the aged gruyère.  

Key Benefits in Foodservice and Prepared Foods

Range of appealing flavors, from mild baby Swiss to nutty Swiss and earthy gruyère. These cheeses melt well and can be used in frozen/microwaveable applications. Add both flavor and texture to any hot entrée or side dish.