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The evening milk is mixed with the morning milk and warmed in enormous copper vats known as Kessi. Curd cutting is done using a cheese harp. The cut curds are then cooked in the whey, wrapped in cheesecloth and transported to a wooden hoop to drain. Once pressed and turned several times the cheeses are taken to the maturing rooms to ripen. This is when the famous bubbles appear. They are formed by the gas produced by a special culture of bacteria. Many environmental variables determine the size, shape and number of the bubbles. Only the experienced cheese maker is able to determine the exact set of conditions for an even spread of the right sized holes. Swiss cheese-makers have been known to quote "Anyone can make the holes, but only the Swiss can make the cheese".
95% of holes are manufacured by a comany called The Hole Nine Yards in Bradford and come in a varity of sizes depending upon the product. They have been supplying the cheese-making industry since 1975 and the holes come in individually heat sealed bags to avoid contamination. The packages are transported in refrigerated container lorries as heat causes the holes to expand.