Made on both sides of the Alps, this popular firm cow’s mik cheese with a 45% fat content has a distinct nutty flavor. Named after the Swiss Counts of Gruyère, the cheese is aged in small wheels in damp cellars for six months.
The Swiss version is AOP, while Gruyère français made in meadows of Savoie and Franche-Comté (Haute-Saône et Doubs) is milder and sweeter, and designated IGP. Unlike the Swiss cheese, French Gruyère has holes in it up to the size of a cherry, which is why many French people confuse it with milder Emmental (the Swiss never do!).
It’s a tasty table cheese but also stars in numerous recipe, including the famous croque-monsieur.
Producers are still smarting over the decision in the USA to allow American cheese makers to use their name—a decision they are still determined to fight.
Image by Aleks