Best Gruyere Substitute for Fondue

When preparing traditional Swiss fondue, you should pay great attention to each of the ingredients. Fondue is traditionally cooked with two kinds of cheese – Gruyere and Emmental. This combination is ideal for making fondue. However, many chefs believe that the more different types of cheese you combine, the more interesting your dish will be.

What can I use instead of Gruyere fondue? Here are our top Gruyere substitutes for fondue:

  • Appenzeller
  • Vacherin
  • Cheddar
  • Fontina
  • Cantal
  • Salers
  • Raclette
  • Brie

Best Gruyere Substitute for Fondue

In classic Swiss fondue, Gruyere and Emmental are used in equal proportions.  In the French version of the fondue, the Emmental is replaced with Vacherin cheese. However, fondue can be tasty even if you do not have gruyere or Emmental. The main thing is to remember a few rules of choosing cheese for fondue:

  • Fondue cheese should be fatty and melt well.
  • Fondue should be cooked with at least two types of cheese.
  • One cheese should have a pronounced rich taste, and the second should be more neutral creamy. For example, the first cheese could be cheddar or gouda and the second one camembert.

See also: In-Depth Guide to Chocolate Cheese: Taste, Price, Origin

Appenzeller Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Appenzeller has a pronounced aroma and fruity, nutty flavor, which varies depending on the aging period. Together with Gruyere and Sbrinz, Appenzeller probably makes up the big three of Swiss cheeses. Appenzeller is less known, but it is still quite actively exported outside Switzerland and certainly deserves the attention of every lover of good hard cheeses.

Appenzeller is very aromatic and tasty, like many other Swiss kinds of cheese. Appenzeller has a very thick texture. The aroma is strong, expressive, with notes of dried fruits, nuts, herbs which will make excellent fondue. The longer the aging period, the more piquant and stronger the aroma.

Vacherin Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Vacherin Friborguá (or Friborg) is a Swiss semi-hard aged cheese made from pasteurized cow’s milk that can be used for fondue instead of Gruyere and Emmental. The unique Vacherin Friborgois cheese has absorbed the whole palette of the Alpine flora’s aroma growing in the foothills of the Alps and on the hills of the canton of Friborg.

The characteristic aroma of the cheese combines milky tones with notes of fresh hay and hazelnut. Vacherin has a delicate fruity, slightly nutty, subtly sweetish, resinous taste with a delicate bitterness and a slightly herbal flavor.

Cheddar Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Cheddar is a long-maturing cheese with a spicy, slightly pungent taste and a rich aftertaste reminiscent of hazelnuts. The cheese melts easily and stretches well due to its high protein content, so it is used to make sauces, sandwiches, fondues and pasta casseroles.

The taste of cheddar is creamy, spicy with slight acidity and a pleasant nutty aftertaste. Like other hard cheeses, Cheddar can be consumed both on its own and in various dishes like pizza, soups, sandwiches, fondue. The taste of Cheddar can also vary significantly and depends both on the place and characteristics of the production technology and on the period and conditions of aging.

Fontina Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Fontina is a hard cheese made from cow’s milk with a creamy-sweet taste, fruity-nutty notes and a rich characteristic aroma. The texture of young Fontina cheese is soft and perfect for fondue. Fontina fondue mixed with whipped eggs and cream is a traditional dish. Fontina has a delicate, somewhat nutty flavor, enriched with herbal and fruity notes. The cheese melts well. It can be combined with Gruyere, Emmenthal, Beaufort, Taleggio, Edam or Gouda.

Cantal Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Semi-hard Cantal is aged for several months. Cantal has a tender texture and spicy flavor somewhat reminiscent of Cheddar. The longer the cheese is aged, the brighter the flavor becomes. Aged Cantal has a vibrant flavor, while young cheese retains the sweetness of raw milk. Its aroma is saturated with earthy notes and conveys all the richness of the Auvergne pastures, the birthplace of cheese.

Salers Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Salers is somewhat reminiscent of Cantal, made from the milk of the same cows, only during the remaining months, when the animals are fed with hay. It is believed that this variety is already at least 2,000 years old, but in France, the cheese became popular only under Louis XIV.

To analyze the taste of Saler, numerous sessions were assembled with the participation of tasters. The sharp, slightly bitter, piquant taste of cheese, according to experts, is complemented by the smell of fruits, herbs, hazelnuts, citrus fruits, cream, smoked and fried onions, as well as spicy notes.

Raclette Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Raclette cheese is a Swiss semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk and is most widely used in the French-Swiss dish called raclette. Although this cheese was invented in Switzerland, it is also produced in France, and some American dairies also make their own version of this cheese. A good raclette is soft, creamy, slightly nutty, which is perfect for melting. Raclette has an intense mushroom aroma and a moderately spicy creamy taste.

Brie Cheese for Fondue Instead of Gruyere

Brie goes well with all types of cheese, so it can be used for making fondue. If you are thinking about which cheese to choose for cooking, we advise you to pay attention to Brie, as it is endowed with excellent taste, pleasant aroma and richness.

Brie’s flavor is revealed only at room temperature, so Brie is perfect for making fondue. Modern Brie is covered with a thin layer of mildew, reminiscent of velvet in color. Brie goes well with dry white wine, hot dishes, fruits and champagne.


The taste of the fondue directly depends on the cheese. Therefore, before preparing it, learn the properties of the cheese. Most modern cheeses immediately begin to thicken after melting and cannot be used for making fondue. If you cannot find Gruyere and Emmental for fondue, you should opt for Appenzeller, Vacherin, Cheddar, Fontina, Cantal, Salers, Raclette or Brie.

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