The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Emmental. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

emmental cheese

What Emmental etiquette is

Emmental etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Emmental. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Emmental etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.

What you should know about Emmental

Emmental is a semi-hard cheese from Switzerland. Other names are Emmenthal or Emmentaler. 

Emmental is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. It has a minimum aging time of 2 months. The paste is yellow in color and firm in texture. Its taste is characteristic yet mild.

How To Serve And Eat Emmental. The Top Etiquette Tips.
Best way to serve Emmental. How to cook it. Emmental wine and food pairings.

Etiquette tips to serve and eat Emmental

1) How to store Emmental

Store Emmental in the fridge. After opening it, wrap it in plastic or in aluminum foil. Keep any surface of the cheese protected from the air. Properly stored, Emmental can last up to 3 or 4 weeks.

In the freezer, Emmental can last for about 6 months. However, freezing affects the taste and texture of the cheese. Thus, freeze Emmental only if you plan to use it for cooking. 

Store dishes with cooked Emmental in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 to 5 days. 

2) How to clean Emmental

You do not need to wash Emmental.

If you notice mold on its surface, slice it and discard the slice that has gone bad. 

3) How to cook Emmental

Emmental cheese melts very well. It is one of the most common cheeses in fondue or similar dishes.

You can add Emmental to many baked recipes. Such as quiches, savory pies, flans, or soufflés.   

Melt it on top of burgers or cooked vegetables. Such as potatoes, zucchini, or even asparagus.

Emmental is a popular ingredient for salads and sandwiches too. It is not common, but not inappropriate with pasta or pizza.

4) How to serve & present Emmental

Serve Emmental in large slices. Present it with a serving knife to slice it. Alternatively, you can serve it in smaller slices or cubes. If you present it in slices, do not remove the rind before serving. If you serve it in cubes, it is good etiquette to remove the rind.

Emmental is best served in a cheese course. After the meal and before the dessert. It is appropriate for a cheese platter. Alternatively, it can be served as an appetizer too.

Serve Emmental at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge between 1 and 2 hours before serving. Accompany it with bread or crackers.

5) Food and wine to pair Emmental with

You can pair Emmental with charcuterie, such as salami. It goes well with eggs, red meat, and poultry. Avoid pairing it with fish or seafood.

Emmental pairs well with fresh fruit. Such as apples, pears, grapes, or figs. With nuts such as pecans. With honey or jams.

It pairs best with white wine. Such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, or Gewürztraminer. It goes well with red wine such as Merlot or Pinot Noir. Other great matches are Champagne or Port wine.

6) How to eat Emmental

The rind or skin is edible. However, it is best to discard it. 

Use a knife to remove the rind. Slice the cheese into bite-sized chunks. Then, bring the cheese to your mouth one chunk at a time with a fork. Alternatively, you can eat Emmental with your fingers.

emmental etiquette mistakes

Emmental etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst Emmental etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled Emmental.
  • 5/10. Pairing Emmental with fish or seafood.

Additional information for properly serving Emmental

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

The calories in Emmental cheese can vary depending on the aging time and production method. On average, Emmental contains 383 calories per 100 grams. A single serving is a slice of about 25 grams, which contains 96 calories.

How to buy the best Emmental

A crucial factor in Emmental etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Emmental is available all year round. 

Choose the best

The best Emmental must have an AOC (Appellation d’origine contrôlée) seal on its packaging. The seal guarantees that the cheesemaker complied with all the necessary quality requirements. 

Usually, Emmental aged over 6 months has a richer and more complex aroma. 

Alternatives to Emmental

Valid alternatives to Cheddar can be Leerdammer, Grevé, or Jarlsberg cheese.