Holes in Swiss Cheese - level 3
If you love the idea of eating food with holes in it, this is probably the best news you'll hear all day. After old wive’s tales about hungry mice, a shedload of random guesses, and nearly a hundred years of research, we now have the answer to why Swiss cheese has holes in it.
The iconic holes in the cheese have baffled scientists for a century and we can now forget the claim that mice were responsible. It turns out the culprit is hay.
The traditional method of gathering milk via open-air buckets means microscopically small particles of hay are allowed into the milk, creating holes as the liquid matures into cheese.
The revelation by a Swiss agricultural institute also solves another mystery – why the famous holes in cheeses like Emmentaller have been getting smaller or disappearing completely over the last fifteen years.
This is because the milk has been getting cleaner. The use of industrial milking systems has now caused the holes to decline. In a series of tests, the scientists added different amounts of hay dust to the milk during the cheese-making process and discovered it allowed them to regulate the number of holes.
Difficult words: old wive’s tale (a story told by housewives to explain something that happened in the house), shedload (a large amount), baffled (confused), culprit (something which is responsible for something bad”, gather (to get), revelation (a surprising and unknown fact).
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