Substitutes For Emmental Cheese

When it comes to cheese there are few as immediately distinctive to the eye as Emmental.

Emmental Cheese is a Swiss cheese that is famous for having visible round holes all over the surface. Both high in calcium and fat. Emmental is most often sold over the counter made from pasteurized milk, but traditional Emmental is made from unpasteurized.

Sometimes you might find yourself needing a substitute Emmental. Read on to find the best alternative for your situation or recipe.

1. Gruyere

Gruyere is a smooth cheese from Switzerland that is known for it’s mouth-watering melting properties. It’s a great cheese for enjoying alone, or melted over toast, or in a sandwich. It makes a great substitute for fondues and similar uses.

You might know that Gruyere is used in a grilled cheese sandwiches in France. This is called Croque Monsieur, so it makes a perfect substitute cheese for Emmental when it comes to anything involving bread.

2. Fontina

Fontina is a sweet and nutty cheese with a creamy taste. The rich flavor is buttery in the mouth and like Emmental the cheese has small holes giving it that distinctive appearance.

This cheese is a semi-hard cheese with a smooth body that makes it ideal for melting into cheese sauces, grating over pastas or soups, and can even be used on pizzas.

3. Comte

French Comte is a distinctive cheese with flavors of roasted hazelnuts and creamy butter. You can use this as a substitute for Emmental in almost any dish you’d like, but but aware that it is very rich. So adjust the amount you use to begin with until you find the the right amount for you.

4. Jarlsberg

Is Jarlsberg similar to Emmental? Yes, Jarlsberg Cheese makes a fantastic replacement for Emmental.

It is a mild cheese with Scandinavian origins that is known for being semi-soft, it is almost spongey when you cut it. The other similarity is that they are visually almost identical, but while mild, it is a stronger tasting cheese than Emmental. Some people actually prefer it in any dish or recipe for that reason.

It is a great melting cheese that works well in any recipe from grilled cheese, pizza, toast, or fondue.

5. Gouda

Gouda cheese is another mild cheese with slight nutty flavors, making it similar to Fontina. It’s not necessarily as good of a substitute though.

The main drawback with Gouda isn’t the flavor or its strength. It is a sweet, creamy cheese that originates from the Netherlands, but it doesn’t melt as well. This is because there are many types of Goudas. Some are semi-hard, others are softer like Jarlsberg.

So Gouda is a good option, but the great variety of them means you need to pay attention to what you’re buying and really make sure it fits as many of the Emmental characteristics as possible if you’re looking for a 1:1 replacement.

6. Cheddar

When all else fails you can always substitute any cheese with the humble and versatile Cheddar. 

You can go with Mild, Medium, or Mature to meet your own tastes, but you might want to pick a milder cheddar if you’re looking for as close a replacement for Emmental as you can get. 

Cheddar will work well in any recipe whether it’s a twist on poutine, for eating in a salad, or melting over chicken.