Eye cheese

What is eye cheese?


One of the world’s most well recognised cheese styles, due to their signature holes or “eyes”. Eye cheeses are smooth, supple and loved for their sweet nutty flavours.

Eye cheeses can be:

  • Hard-cooked cheese such as emmental, gruyere and tilsit. Hard cooked cheeses are heated to around 52°C to remove moisture and harden the curd.
  • Semi-cooked cheeses such as raclette, gouda and edam. These cheeses have been heated to around 38°C to release moisture and firm the curd.

The "eyes" or "holes" are created by gas producing bacteria, Propionibacterium Shermanii, which generate carbon dioxide during a two to four week period in warm maturing rooms at around 20°C. The eyes are evenly distributed due to regular turning of the cheese.

Some eye cheeses have washed rinds which impart complex barnyard flavours into the cheese while others are waxed and very mild and sweet in flavour. Most eye cheeses have a recognisable and characteristic sweet, nutty flavour.

Eye cheeses should be supple and satiny, with no cracks. The eyes should be shiny, but not sweaty or wet.