Welcome ladies and gentleman to the main event of the week! In the category of Culinary Boxing here at Chef’s Mandala, we have weighing in at 198 lbs from France-Comte, please welcome French Emmenthal cheese! His opponent, weighing in at 202 lbs from the Canton Bern, please welcome Swiss Emmental!
LET’S GET READY TO RRRRR…….HAVE A SPIRITED DEBATE ON FOOD!!!
In the Red Corner – FRENCH EMMENTHAL
From the western side of the Alps comes this underdog of the dairy leagues! Despite a long track record, this contender is a relative unknown and disrespected East of his hometown. Accusations of being more rubbery and not worth the same money as his Swiss opponent have long dogged this fromage. But La France has had enough. The time has come for French Emmental cheese to get some payback!
In the Blue Corner – SWISS EMMENTAL
The reigning champ shows no mercy to any pretenders, especially those who are tardy or pasteurize their mountain cheeses! Watches aren’t the only things that the Swiss make with exacting precision. Every wheel of Emmental cheese that rolls out of their Alpine caves is subject to rigorous scrutiny. A legend the world over, but has this once great champion seen better days? Despite a surge in demand coupled with a fight for market share among the two main exporters – does Swiss Emmental still have what it takes to beat out their cheaper French cousin?
- The Play-By-Play
Not since Rocky IV have we seen a stoic giant go after one of their southern European counterparts like this! No one here is sure what “Ich muss dich brechen!” means, but this plucky Frenchman gives his Swiss opponent extra time to finish the sentence. Then a left jab, followed by a right, left, right, these are just metaphorical words I’m typing here. True, French Emmenthal is wearing stylish trunks, designer sneakers and might go on strike at some point during the match. But don’t let his excellent taste cause you to underestimate him!
AND THE WINNER IS….
Swiss Emmental cheese! While among athletes age is the thief of greatness, in cheese it is the opposite. With younger, cheaper Swiss cheeses the differences from the French is not as stark. But nibble on a wheel cave-aged over 12 months and the champion become visible. Hole size, while a popular metric, actually doesn’t affect the taste. The texture and flavor of the cheese comes from the right milk, cave and an expert cheesemaker whose secret techniques have stood the test of time. Only these Maître-Fromager know which Swiss wheels will go the distance. While the French kick butt in most of their native cheeses, not this time!