The Swiss Do It Again

I don’t know that I’ve ever been prouder of the people of the country of my ancestors. Swiss researchers have discovered why holes form in Swiss cheese:

(CNN)For more than a century, the holes in Swiss cheeses such as Emmental have been attributed to carbon dioxide given off by bacteria.

But that’s not the whole story, and now the Swiss have determined exactly why the holes form the way they do.

The culprit? Hay.

In recent years, the holes in Swiss cheese — known as eyes — have gotten smaller because processing centers have gotten cleaner, according to the Agroscope Institute for Food Sciences, a Swiss research center. The old-fashioned barns and buckets of previous years allowed more and larger hay particulates into the process, leading to bigger eyes.

Clearly cleanliness is next to diablerie. It takes up a year and a half of women’s lives. It makes you sick. And now the capper: it reduces the number of holes in Swiss cheese.

First, the cuckoo clock. Then milk chocolate. Now the holes in Swiss cheese. What will they tackle next? Self-melting fondue?

I should tell the story of fondue sometime. It’s a Da Vinci Code-like adventure. Sinister organizations. Intrigue. Only in Switzerland.

20 comments… add one
  • Guarneri Link

    A monumental achievement. It does beg a certain question, though. The hay, and the associated hole-causing constituents. Well, there is nothing to do but just ask. Are there horses around these cheese facilities?

  • Are there horses around these cheese facilities?

    Cows. In the part of Switzerland where the village that’s my ancestral home is located (real Switzerland, as the Swiss sometimes call it) you can hardly turn around without falling over a cow.

  • I think the Swiss have a lot to be proud of, if we put aside the attempts of certain banks and insurance companies to steal billions from Holocaust victims…and it was a Swiss, non-Jewish security guard who had the simple decency to open that can of worms.

    They’re one of the world’s oldest democracies, and their federated system allows maximum local control by the individual cantons.

    They’re an independent country that goes their own way. They avoided the tyrannical mess that is the EU and rejected the euro as the con it always was. And they aren’t caving in to radical Islamism like their neighbors. While they take in immigrants, they’re reasonably selective – they haven’t allowed their country to be overwhelmed by third world ‘refugees’ that would alter the fundamental culture of the country. It was the Swiss whom recently voted by a sizable majority to ban minarets and the broadcasting of the Adhan, the Muslim call to prayer at ear splitting volume five times a day.

    They defend themselves with a small, very well trained and equipped standing military, that can be augmented in time of need by reserves. I believe most able bodied men are required to serve in the reserves until 55, and they keep REAL military assault weapons and ammo in their homes..yet the murder rate is one of the lowest on earth.

    Aside from that lovely scenery, Switzerland has very few natural resources, except for the most important one – the Swiss themselves. They make and supply products and services people want to buy, even at premium prices, they largely keep the budget balanced and the Swiss Franc remains one of the world’s benchmark currencies.

    Not bad at all for a small, landlocked country.

  • Add to those accomplishments that Switzerland is a direct democracy or nearly so. It has a parliament but every question of any significance is turned over to referendum.

  • and they keep REAL military assault weapons and ammo in their homes..yet the murder rate is one of the lowest on earth.

    Yes, the Swiss are the most heavily armed people in the world. Just about every Swiss man has an automatic weapon at home.

    It’s not limited to hand weapons. I think I have a post around here somewhere that shows pictures of some real serious Swiss military hardware, tastefully concealed behind facades of quaint silos and barns.

  • Well said, Dave.

    They remind me a lot of Israel and Israelis whom also have compulsory reserve training until 55 and keep military rifles and ammo at home. Filter out terrorist attacks and Israel also has one of the lowest murder rates in the civilized world.

    And like the Swiss, their resource is essentially their people, except lately it appears Israel is doing just fine in the oil and gas department…

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