The Unique Swiss Cheese Ina Garten Uses To Top Tuna Melts

Swiss cheese melts well, so it's no surprise that it works great on tuna melts. After all, a dish with "melt" in its name requires a cheese that can complement the gooey, warm qualities of the tuna sandwich. However, not all Swiss cheeses are equal and celebrity chef Ina Garten prefers one kind over the others. For a tuna melt, Garten explains in a Food Network clip that she opts for Emmental cheese, which is what you're likely already thinking of when you picture Swiss cheese. 

The cheese is yellow, filled with holes, and so quintessentially Swiss. Meaning, it has all the cheese's trademark flavor and for the sake of your tuna melt, the ability to melt. As for why Garten opts for this cheese over just any brand of Swiss, the reasoning is simple. She wants each of her tuna melt's ingredients to bring something to the table, so they have to earn their spot on the sandwich which Emmental does in a few ways. This cheese is all about the flavor and it enhances a standard tuna melt with its own, unique properties.

She uses Emmental cheese for its nutty flavor and melting ability

What more could you want from cheese? Emmental is a Swiss that does it all, so Garten uses a generous sprinkling of this type of grated cheese for her tuna melts. "I like the way it looks," she says in the video. "I like the way it melts. I like the way it tastes." In particular, she highlights the nuttiness of Emmental as especially complementary to the flavors of the tuna melt. 

Rather than use unified slices of the cheese, Garten grates her Emmental and incorporates it as a heap atop the tuna. Grating helps the cheese melt better, she explains. Of course, cheese may very well seem like an afterthought on a sandwich so contingent on tuna. However, a generous portion of Emmental finishes off your tuna melt with finesse and flavor. Once you've added the cheese to your sandwich, put the combination under the broiler for just a few minutes. Wait for it to melt and you'll quickly understand that Garten knows what she's doing.