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11 Emmental Cheese Substitutes for Fondue, Spaetzle, and More

“Life is great. Cheese makes it better.”_ Avery Aames.

Cheese is such a fantastic dairy product! It can be used as toppings, shredded into food, or eaten independently. It indeed makes life better.

There are over a thousand cheese types, but this article will give you information on Emmental cheese and its substitutes. Without further delay, let’s get started!

Some of the most popular substitutes for Emmental cheese are Gruyere cheese, Gouda, Cheddar, Fontina, Jarlsberg, French Comte and a lot more. 

What is Emmental Cheese?

Is Emmental Swiss cheese?

Emmental cheese is a Swiss originating cheese. It’s gotten from cow milk and has large holes, known as “eyes.” Its origin can be traced to the 13th century in the Bern region, specifically the river Emme.  

This cheese is prepared from unpasteurized cow milk. It doesn’t contain additives, preservatives, or genetically modified components.

Emmental Cheese is an essential part of the Swiss legacy; it has the benefits of appellation d’origine protégée (AOP).

The appellation d’origine protégée (Protected designation of origin (AOP)) is a certification that shows “everything, including the raw material, the processing, and the final result of a product, comes from one distinctly defined place of origin.”


Emmental cheese is semi-hard, dense, and firm. It also has prominent, irregular, walnut-sized holes on its body.

Additionally, Emmental cheese has good melting properties. This attribute makes it a perfect ingredient for grilled sandwiches and baked foods that include cheese in their recipe.

The brined rind of Emmental cheese is hard and nonedible; it should be discarded.


The taste of cheese depends on its maturity. Emmental cheese of 4 months has a mild and fruity taste. Other flavors could be buttery, nutty, or full-flavored. Its rich taste makes it pair well with a wine like Jura Blanc.

The aroma of Emmental cheese can be described as sweet, like fresh-cut grass. Its appearance is usually light yellow.

As impressive as this cheese sounds, sometimes it might be unavailable. Read on to get 11 recommended Emmental cheese substitutes.

What is a Good Substitute for Emmental Cheese?

1. Gruyere Cheese


Gruyere is our first recommendation because it’s also of Swiss origin. This cheese dates back to the 17th century, in the meadow of Canton of Fribourg [1].

Like Emmental cheese, gruyere has an earthy, nutty, and fruity flavor. Although it’s dense, it develops a flaky texture; and a hard-washed rind as it ages.

You can confidently use gruyere cheese in your pasta, fondue, dips, salads, quiches, and soups. It also pairs well with ham and chicken. For overall flavor, it’s best to pair gruyere with beer or cider rather than a glass of wine.

Gruyere cheese is saltier than Emmental.You might want to have that in mind when you add it to your recipe.

2. Fontina Cheese


Fontina cheese is a rich, creamy, high-fat cheese. Like Emmental, it has buttery and nutty flavors, although its taste can be described as a mixture of sweet and pungent.

The taste is due to the absorbed moisture from the cheese caverns [2] it’s stored in. Fontina cheese comes in Danish, Swedish, and Italian variations. They usually have waxed rings and sweeter flavors.

Unlike Emmental cheese, this replacement has fewer holes, but it still can be used in soups, Chowder, pizza toppings, etc.

3. Jarlsberg Cheese

jarlsberg cheese

Jarlsberg cheese originates from Norway. It’s a new cheese variety born in the early 1800s.

It’s a semi-soft cheese with a mild, sweet taste. This cheese also has a nutty and fruity flavor like Emmental.

Sometimes it’s referred to as “baby swiss” because of its cherry-sized holes, texture, firmness, and melting ability.

You can use Jarlsberg in pizzas, burgers, fondues, sandwiches, and other hot dishes. The texture of this cheese makes it work perfectly on its own as a snack.

4. French Comte Cheese

comte cheese

French Comte, as the name suggests, originates from France. In the 12th century, the beautiful Jura Massif countryside villagers produced this cheese. Since then, it’s been their masterpiece.

This french treasure has a unique savory and fruity flavor. It has the aroma of roasted hazelnut and caramelized butter.

French Comte is an excellent substitute for Emmental cheese because of its source, color, firmness, and melting abilities. Feel free to use this cheese in vegetable meals, tarts, salads, and carpaccios [3].

5. Cheddar


Cheddar is one beautiful cheese variant that we all love. Its origin has an exciting story.

Many years ago, in Cheddar’s town, a farmer left his milk pail in a cave. When he returned to get it, he found a beautiful, golden block of cheese instead. And that was the origin of cheddar cheese.

Cheddar matches Emmental cheese’s buttery and creamy taste; even though it doesn’t have large holes, it still works as a perfect replacement.

Enjoy grated Cheddar on your salads and baked foods. Apart from its nutritional value, its golden hue gives your meal an aesthetic appeal.

6. Raclette Cheese

raclette cheese

Raclette cheese is named after two things. It’s named after a Swiss dish (where it’s an ingredient) and a grill used to melt the cheese.

Like Emmental cheese, raclette has a good melting point to work as a good alternative.

You can use it in your meals in raw or melted form.

7. Gouda Cheese

aged organic gouda cheese

Gouda cheese is another old cheese variant. It was created in the 12th century, and it originates from Southern Netherlands.

This cheese has a beautiful orange-yellow color with a smooth texture that blesses your palate with a nutty, sweet, and creamy taste.

Due to its sweet taste, feel free to pair it with grapes, wine, or strong drinks. Also, add it to salads, fondues, soups, etc.

8. Brie Cheese


Brie cheese is a soft and pale cheese with an edible rind. This cheese has a creamy texture just like Emmental; this makes it a superb substitute.

If you need an appetizer that pairs easily with nuts, wine, and fruits, brie cheese is your go-to option.

9. Edam Cheese


Edam cheese originates from the Northern region of Dutch. Young variants of this cheese have a fresh, creamy, and nutty taste. As the cheese ages, it becomes drier.

Young Edam cheese pairs wonderfully with fresh fruits like peaches, apricots, and cherries. Older Edam cheese bubble with flavor paired with zesty apples and pears.

10. Manchego Cheese

spanish manchego

Manchego cheese is a new cheese variant, formed in 1984 and originates from Spain.

Although it’s gotten from sheep milk, as opposed to the cow milk of the others, it can serve as an Emmental cheese replacement.

It has a balanced taste of sweet and savory with nutty undertones. So feel free to use it in your soups, sandwiches, and salads.

This balanced cheese pairs effortlessly with red wine, almond, honey, marmalade, dry sherry, or bread.

Suppose you would like to take the experience of your tastebud up a notch, try pairing it with sun-dried tomatoes. The nutty, sweet, and tart flavors you get will keep your palate hooked and wanting more!

11. Parmigiano-Reggiano Cheese

parmigiano reggiano

We undoubtedly saved the best for last! Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese is known as the “King of Cheese.” This cheese is of Italian origin, and it is a staple in most Italian kitchens.

It takes your tastebud on a journey of flavors. It starts with a nutty and fruity taste, then an umami flavor, and finally climaxes with a sharp aftertaste.

Despite this mix of flavors, you can’t ignore its aroma of roasted almonds and butter. This cheese is simply exotic, it’s a perfect Emmental cheese substitute.

Feel free to use this cheese in any recipe.

You don’t want only to read and not try out our recommended substitutes in your next meal. Give your taste buds a cheese treat.

Before then, let’s get answers to some questions about cheese.

Emmental Cheese Recipes

You can use the above Emmental cheese substitutes to prepare for these recipes:

Cheese Fondue

Cheese Spaetzle

FAQs About Emmental Cheese

Is there a good Emmental cheese substitute for fondue?

Emmental cheese is often the Swiss cheese of choice for fondue. However, if you don’t have any in your fridge or on hand, it may not be easy to make a meal out of fondue without going to the store and buying one.

But fear not! You can use Gruyere cheese, Jarlsberg cheese, or Gouda cheese as an Emmental cheese substitute for fondue.

Is Emmental cheese good for melting?

Emmental cheese is an award-winning Swiss cheese that’s good for melting because it’s low in moisture content.

With a more robust taste, this cheese will melt well and hold its shape after applying heat (it won’t just become a blob all over your macaroni and cheese dish.)

Can I substitute Swiss cheese for Gruyere cheese?

Yes, you can. However, it depends on the recipe.

Swiss cheese is often used in a sandwich or fondue recipe. Gruyere can also be used in these recipes since it is nearly the same consistency as Swiss cheese.

Where Can I Buy Emmental Cheese?

You can buy Emmental cheese from grocery stores, supermarts, and superstores. If you don’t find any near you, purchase them from online shops.

Can I Use Emmental Cheese In Lactose-Free Meals?

No!. You can’t use Emmental cheese in the diet of a lactose intolerant person. Try vegan cheese substitutes like vegan Cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese, etc.

How Can I Preserve My Emmental Cheese?

Wrap it up tightly in parchment or waxed paper, then put it in a zip lock bag. Store in the refrigerator. Your cheese can stay frozen for about three months with minimal effect on its texture and taste.

It’s incredible how cheese can be used for any recipe, even as a snack. Cheese indeed makes life better.

So, the next time you can’t think of what to pair your wine or fruits with, smile and say “cheese”!.

I’m Jennifer Schlette, a Registered Dietitian and Integrative Nutrition Health Coach. I love cooking, reading, and my kids! Here you’ll find the healthiest recipes & substitutions for your cooking. Enjoy, and be well, friends!

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