Appears in
On Food and Cooking

By Harold McGee

Published 2004

  • About
During the spread of cheesemaking in the Middle Ages, hundreds of different dairy animal varieties were bred to make the best use of local pasturage. The Brown Swiss is thought to go back several thousand years. Today, most of these locally adapted breeds have been replaced by the omnipresent black-and-white Holstein or Friesian, bred to maximize the milk it yields on standardized feed. Traditional breeds produce a lower volume of milk, but a milk richer in protein, fat, and other desirable cheese constituents.