#16 – Gruyère
Gruyère cheese facts:
- It is named after the Gruyère valley of Fribourg, Switzerland.
- It is a traditional, creamery, unpasteurized, semi-soft cheese. It is hard and is made out of cow’s milk.
- The cheese is made from unpasteurized milk that is heated to 93°F (34°C) before being curdled with liquid rennet. The mixture is stirred until the curd has begun to firm, and then it is quickly cut to release the whey before being heated further, until the curd begins to shrivel slightly. These pieces of curd are pressed into molds to be cured, and then salted in brine for eight days. After being pulled from the brine, the cheese is ripened for two months at room temperature. Curing lasts for 3 to 10 months, the longer this period the better the cheese.
- The rind is hard and full of tiny holes. The holes rarely exceed the size of a pea.
- It has a sweet, nutty flavor, with a hint of fruity taste. The cheese is also slightly salty, because it is a brined cheese.
- It carries an appellation d’origine controlee, or protected origin designation, which means that only a specific cheese can be labeled and sold with this name. Only cheese made in the Gruyere region of Switzerland can be labeled as such.
- Similar cheeses made in France are called Comté and Beaufort.
- Gruyère is great in French onion soups!