Emmental Cheese vs. Mozzarella

Emmental and mozzarella are two of the most popular cheeses worldwide.

Emmental, sometimes referred to as Swiss cheese, originates from Switzerland and is known for its distinctive holes and nutty flavor.

Emmental Cheese vs. Mozzarella

Mozzarella hails from Italy and is beloved for its soft, creamy texture and mild taste.

History of Emmental and Mozzarella

To understand what makes emmental and mozzarella unique, it helps to learn a bit about the history and traditional production methods of each cheese.

Emmental has ancient roots in the dairy farms of Switzerland. The term “emmental” specifically refers to cheeses produced in the Emme River valley region of Switzerland. True emmental is made from raw cow's milk and aged in humid mountain caves for a minimum of 4 months.

Mozzarella also has a long lineage, first being produced in Southern Italy from the milk of water buffalo. Fresh mozzarella is still made using this traditional technique, which involves curdling the milk with rennet and then stretching and hand-forming the curds into pliable balls of cheese.

The unique processes behind emmental and mozzarella lead to differences in taste, texture and appearance profile.

Comparison of Taste and Texture

When it comes to palate preferences, emmental and mozzarella offer vastly different tasting experiences:

Emmental has a sweet yet piquant flavor described by many as nutty or fruity. Its taste profile develops complexity during the aging process in mountain caves. When sampled at room temperature, emmental’s pliable paste has a smooth texture punctuated by the occasional hole or “eye.” These holes result from carbon dioxide released by bacteria during production and aging.

Mozzarella imparts a clean, mild milky flavor and tender, velvety mouthfeel. Fresh varieties in particular offer a subtle tang. This fresh, dairy-rich taste comes from mozzarella’s quick production method, in which the cheese is consumed immediately after being hand-pulled and shaped. When melted, mozzarella takes on its characteristic soft, stretchy texture unlike any other cheese.

Emmental provides a more mature, nuanced tasting experience compared to mozzarella’s simple, delicate flavor. And mozzarella’s signature stretch stands in contrast to emmental’s denser, smoother paste.

Nutrition Comparison

Both cheeses provide nutritional value, but their precise macros differ significantly:

Emmental is lower in calories and fat than many cheeses at 106 calories and 8.5 grams of fat per ounce. As is the case for most Swiss cheeses, emmental contains less lactose due to the aging process, making it easier to digest. True emmental is rich in vitamins A, B12 and K2 as well as calcium, phosphorus and zinc.

With around 70 calories and 6 grams of fat in a 1-ounce serving, mozzarella is lower in calories and fat compared to emmental. Part-skim, low moisture varieties can be even leaner. In addition to being high in calcium and protein, mozzarella provides probiotics for gut health. However, it does contain more lactose than aged cheeses.

So nutrition-wise, lower-fat options of either cheese can fit into a healthy diet. Emmental offers more diverse vitamins and minerals, while mozzarella provides probiotics. For those monitoring fat and calories, part-skim mozzarella is typically the leanest choice.

Best Uses in Cooking and Baking

When it comes to honing in on ideal uses for each cheese, there are a few key considerations regarding melting properties, flavor pairing and holding shape when baked or grilled:

The superior melt of emmental makes it a prime choice for fondues, grilled cheese, casseroles and anywhere that smooth, creamy melted cheese is desired. Its versatile flavor also allows it to be enjoyed raw in sandwiches or grated onto salads and pastas.

Mozzarella really shines when melted, such as on top of pizza or in lasagna, providing the ideal stretchy, gooey texture. Fresh mozzarella – best consumed within days of production – carries subtle flavor that complements vegetables, seafood, tomatoes and basil. Low moisture mozzarella holds its shape nicely when baked or grilled.

Emmental and mozzarella each shine in different culinary applications:

  • Emmental excels in recipes where evenly-melted, hole-free cheese is needed, providing a sweet nutty flavor.
  • Mozzarella’s stretch makes it the top melted cheese for pizza and pasta. When fresh, it allows pure flavors of complementary foods to shine.

Price and Availability Comparison

Affordability and sourcing availability also differ between emmental and mozzarella:

True emmental must be imported from Switzerland, making it more expensive – generally upwards of $15 per pound retail.

Quality emmental can be difficult to source locally. Grocers and cheese shops are more likely to carry domestic products marketed as “Swiss cheese” – these are not real emmental but instead local interpretations of the style.

Mozzarella is more affordable – about $7 per pound retail – and widely available even at standard grocery stores. The burgeoning popularity of Italian cuisine worldwide drives demand for easy access to this cheese.

When shopping for either cheese, be sure to check the label closely and ask cheesemongers lots of questions in order to get your hands on the real deal.

Which Cheese Reigns Supreme?

At the end of the day, emmental and mozzarella each have their time and place. As two of the most famous cheeses globally, their popularity shows no signs of waning.

Emmental is the choice for those seeking bold, complex flavor that comes from artful aging techniques passed down over generations.

Mozzarella’s simple milkiness and melt factor make it the crowning jewel of Italian dishes requiring that sublime stretch.

The beauty of these cheeses lies in just how different they are – each provides its own special qualities unmatched by any other. Whether you prefer nutty depth or creamy freshness, emmental or mozzarella likely have already secured spots in your favorite recipes for good reason.

Key Takeaway: Emmental and mozzarella differ markedly in taste, texture and best uses in cooking. But both cheeses shine brightly in their own right based on tradition and specialty.


Is emmental cheese the same as Swiss cheese?

The term “Swiss cheese” refers to a general category of cheese originally from Switzerland. Within that category, emmental is a specific type of Swiss cheese made in the Emme River valley of Switzerland from raw cow’s milk. So while emmental is considered a Swiss cheese, not all Swiss cheeses qualify as true emmental.

Why does Swiss cheese have holes?

The holes or “eyes” in Swiss cheeses like emmental form from carbon dioxide bubbles released by bacteria during aging. Specifically, bacteria convert natural sugars into lactic acid and release CO2 as a byproduct. The gas slowly forms pockets that remain when the cheese hardens into a wheel. These pockets create the signature holes of emmental and other Swiss style cheeses.

Is mozzarella a healthy cheese?

Overall, fresh and part-skim mozzarella can be part of a balanced diet. While high in fat and calories compared to many other foods, cheese does provide important nutrients. Fresh mozzarella in particular contains probiotics, protein and calcium, while being lower in fat and sodium compared to many aged cheeses. When consumed in moderation as part of an overall healthy pattern of eating, mozzarella offers flavor along with nutritional value.


Emmental and mozzarella rightfully belong amongst the most acclaimed cheeses worldwide. While emmental imparts sweet and nutty depth complemented by holes formed naturally during aging, mozzarella offers a clean, mild milky flavor that turns deliciously stretchy once melted.

From a nutrition standpoint, emmental contains less fat and more diverse vitamins and minerals. Yet for those monitoring fat and calories, part-skim mozzarella comes out on top.

Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀
Cheese Lover Chloe 🧀

I'm a total cheese fanatic! When I'm not busy studying to be a cheesemaker, you can find me scouring local farmers markets and specialty shops for new and exciting cheeses to try. Brie is my all-time fave, but I also love exploring aged goudas, funky blues, and rich creamy camemberts. Looking forward to sharing lots of melty, gooey cheese pics and reviews!