Why does regular Swiss cheese have holes and Amish Swiss cheese not? Just wondering. -- Confused in Providence
Thank you for your note and you need not be "Confused in Providence" any longer.
It is true that historically Amish Swiss Cheese did not have holes in it. But that all changed in 1985 with the release of the movie "Witness" starring Harrison Ford and Kelly McGillis. In the film Harrison Ford portrayed a Philadelphia policeman, John Book, who is protecting a witness to the murder of a fellow policeman. The witness is the eight year old son of the character portrayed by Kelly McGillis. They both are Amish. Ford's character must go "undercover" and live with the Amish to protect the "witness."
The scene in the movie that forever changed Amish cheesemaking occurs soon after Ford joins McGillis at her farm home. The Amish church elders are meeting in her kitchen to determine Ford's fate and to discuss the disappointing sales of their community's Swiss cheese. As Ford enters the kitchen the elders are pondering why the "English" Swiss Cheese with holes out-sells the Amish Swiss Cheese with no holes. Ford, with his usual concerned yet quizical look on his face, listens to their cheese problem and offers his solution. He tells one of the elders to hold up a slice of their cheese directly in front of the open window. He then pulls out and fires his .38 caliber snub nose revolver quickly drilling the slice of cheese with a tight group of six nice round holes. The Amish elders were thrilled. They now knew how to get holes in their Swiss cheese! They quickly bought an assortment of firearms from a local gun store and since they were only shooting the cheese, so to speak, it didn't go against their pledge of non-violence.
So now you can easily tell genuine Amish Swiss cheese from your regular Swiss Cheese with holes. Just look for the slight powder burns around the perfectly shaped .38, .357 and 9mm holes.
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March 10, 2002
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