Gruyere is a yellow hard cheese made from cow’s milk, named after the Swiss city of Gruyeres. Gruyere is produced in the cantons of Friborg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Jura and Bern. In 2001, Gruyeres received the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) certificate.
Until that time, there was controversy over whether a similar French cheese could have the same name (French Gruyère was usually understood as such varieties as Conte and Beaufort).
Gruyere Cheese Nutrition:
- Calorie content (100 g): 413 kcal.
- Nutritional value (100 g): proteins – 27 g, fats – 31 g, calcium, phosphorus, potassium.
- Vitamins and minerals: vitamins A, PP and group B.
- Fat content: 50%.
- Texture: dense
- Color: deep yellow
- Taste: sweet, salty, fruity, nutty, earthy
- Aging period: 5-20 months
- Suitable varieties of wines: for young Gruyere — Beaujolais, Chinon, Mercurey, Chablis (white), for aged Gruyere — Alsa Tokay, Pinot Gris, aged champagne.
Gruyere Cheese Taste
What does Gruyere cheese taste like? Gruyere has a creamy, salty taste that changes over time. Young Gruyere has a creamy, nutty flavor. The aged Gruyere’s taste becomes more intense and complex with an earthy flavor. When Gruyere is aged (5 months to a year), small holes and cracks begin to form, which give Gruyere a grainy texture.
Due to its characteristic flavor, Gruyere is also considered one of the most suitable cheeses for baking. For a dish such as a quiche (an open pie filled with beaten eggs, cheese and other ingredients), Gruyere adds flavor without overpowering the rest of the ingredients.
Is Gruyere a stinky cheese? Even though Gruyere has a strong, unique aroma, it is not stinky. Gruyere is a semi-hard cheese appreciated for its spicy aroma and creamy, nutty flavor. Gruyere is considered a true masterpiece of the Swiss art of cheese making.
Does gruyere cheese melt? Gruyere melts well; therefore, it is often used for fondue along with the Vashrain and Emmental varieties. It is also added to traditional French onion soup and Croque Monsieur, a classic sausage and cheese sandwich. Gruyere is an indispensable ingredient for preparing chicken and veal “cordon bleu.”
Gruyere is often added to salads and pasta. Gruyere is used for cooking soups, for example, a traditional garlic soup served in toasted bread. White wines such as Riesling go well with Gruyere. Gruyere is often eaten with sparkling apple cider or dark beer.
Gruyere Cheese Price
Why is Gruyere cheese so expensive? Gruyere cheese is so expensive because it takes 5 to 15 months to produce with the Appellation d’origine contrôlée (AOC) certificate’s strict requirements. Gruyere’s demand far exceeds the supply making Gruyere very expensive. The average price of Gruyere cheese is $20-$25 per pound or $50-$60 per kg.
Gruyere cheese is considered one of the most valuable cheeses in Switzerland. The process of making cheese requires a lot of attention and effort. All stages from the cheese preparation to its packaging and export are performed at the highest level to meet all international requirements and quality control of the final product.
Given all the above, the price of Gruyere cheese consists of many factors. In France, for example, 1 kg of Gruyere cheese will cost from 35 to 45 euros, depending on the store. In the USA, Gruyere cheese is sold at $50-$60 per kg.
To make a Gruyere cheese head weighing 35 kg, you need about 400 liters of fresh unpasteurized milk. The cows that provide this valuable product graze on pastures in summer and are fed with hay in winter. No additives are allowed, and the ripening of the cheese takes several months.
According to the AOC, the climate in the cellar where the Swiss Gruyeres is aged should be as close as possible to that of a natural cave. This means that the humidity should be 94-98%. If the humidity is less, the cheese will dry out; however, if the humidity gets too high, the cheese will not ripen at all but will become viscous and sticky.
The temperature of the cellar must be 13-14°C. Such a relatively high temperature is required for the cheese to be ideal. If the temperature is even slightly lower, 10-12°C, this will significantly affect the result. The lower the temperature, the less the cheese is aged. However, the texture also changes: the pulp becomes firmer and more crumbly.
What Is Gruyere Cheese Used for?
Swiss Gruyere cheese is used in cheese plateaus, as it goes well with crispy nuts and fresh fruit. Gruyere is also used for making cheese and onion soups, as well as in canapes and sandwiches, such as the famous Croque Monsieur and Croque Madame. Gruyere is added to potato casserole and meat dishes, cheese buns, bread and pasta.
Gruyere cheese is an excellent stand-alone snack that is often part of a cheese plate. This cheese is used for the national dish of Switzerland – Fondue. Gruyere cheese goes well with meat and vegetables, and it is also used in first courses, pasta and salads. The taste and aroma of this product in combination with white wine, apple cider and dark beer are more widely revealed.
When choosing a drink for Gruyere, do not forget that the main thing is the balance of taste. You can combine cheese not only with wine but also with stronger drinks. Thanks to the nutty, sweet taste, one-malt whiskey with sweet caramel notes or aged bourbon will be a great pair for Gruyere.
Is Gruyere cheese healthy? Because alpine cows eat only natural food and fresh green herbs, Gruyere is an excellent source of many nutrients. Gruyere contains protein (29% per 100 g), phosphorus, calcium, potassium, sodium, B vitamins and folic acid. Besides, a portion of cheese contains a large amount of vitamin B12, which slows down the brain’s aging and protects against heart disease.