Gruyere Cheese - Cheese Guide

June 12, 2019 | By Dave Mattingly

Gruyere Cheese is often thought of as a type of Swiss. This grand cheese originated in the village of Gruyères, Switzerland, a region filled with lush pastures located in the alpine foothills. Gruyere Cheese has been made in the Alps since ancient times. Legend says that in 161 AD Emperor Antonin the Pious died of indigestion after eating too much cheese from the Gruyere area. While Swiss Gruyere Cheese is perhaps the most famous, Gruyere de Comte, the French variety from the other side of the Alps, is equally compelling and alluring. In 2001 Swiss Gruyere Cheese was awarded AOC Appellation d'Origine Contrôlée, or "Controlled Designation of Origin" protection, which regulates the methods of locations of production of Gruyere.

Gruyere is a nutty, fruity raw cow's milk cheese, aged for a minimum of five months. Swiss Gruyere Cheese is ideal for melting and a necessary ingredient in the classic cheese fondue recipe. Gruyere Cheese is also called for as the preferred topping for French onion soup, quiche and chicken cordon bleu. This multi-purpose cheese may also be eaten as a table cheese, julienned into a Chef's Salad, or shredded over salad or pasta. Gruyere Cheese pairs well with white wines that accentuate its rich nutty flavor such as Pinot Gris or a fruity Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.

Gruyere de Comte is the French version of Gruyere Cheese. Similar to the Swiss variety, the wheel of Gruyere de Comte is a bit less high than that of its Swiss counterpart. Known as Comte for short, this French Gruyere has a pale ivory interior and a semi-hard texture from its aging period of over 10 months. Gruyere de Comte Cheese is sweet and nutty. A versatile cheese, Gruyere de Comte is excellent in fondue and as a table cheese or added to soufflés or gratins.

Austrian Alps Gruyere is another Gruyere type, made in Austria. The Austrian Alps are very similar to the Swiss Alps from a terroir perspective, making the Austrian Gruyere very similar to the Swiss. Equalling its nuttiness and spiciness. Austrian Alps Gruyere Cheese may be melted onto sandwiches, enjoyed as a table cheese, or as a component in the classic cheese fondue.

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