Gruyère is a traditional gourmet Swiss cheese. It is so popular in some parts of France, it is no wonder most of the French insist that it is their work. And though Gruyere is made in Jura in France, the original cheese must have “Switzerland” stamped on the package.
For centuries, the western region of modern Switzerland made Gruyere on the same technology. The cheese is named after the eponymous village of Gruyere, and traditionally is made from unpasteurized milk. Production is common in rural areas, in the local Swiss Canton of Fribourg.
Only in 2001 the Swiss defended the honor of the original brand of Gruyere cheese. Before that the French were trying to assert their own species in the face of Gruyere Comté-Beaufort.
Actually Gruyere very similar to Emmental, but differs from it in having smaller and fewer holes and a smooth and oily surface. The outer skin is actually slightly striated, like the surface of an almond.
History of Gruyère
Named after the eponymous district in the canton of Fribourg, the history of Gruyere is evidenced in a preserved document from 1115 that describes the technology of production of this cheese. Count of Gruyères, was a vassal of the Savoy dynasty, under whose patronage total production of Gruyere from 1249 to the mid 17th century is driven. World Agriculture Fair in Paris served the fine dairy delicacy a gold medal in 1856
Officially on 26 July 2001, Gruyere gets the status of controlled origin, or AOC (fr. appellation d'origine contrôlée). This automatically means that cheese can only be called Gruyere, if produced in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura, and in some parts of the Bern canton.
Types of Gruyere
There are several types of Gruyere, which vary in different flavors, depending on its time of ripening. As a result, the following are differentiated:
- Sweet Gruyère (French: doux) - 5 months ripening
- brackish Gruyère (French: mi-salé) - ripens 7-8 months
- Salty Gruyère (French: salé) - ripens 9-10 months
- Reserve Gruyère (French: surchoix/réserve)-matures in 12 months
- Star Gruyère (French: vieux) - maturing for 15 months
Production of Gruyere
Gruyere, with its greasy coating is produced in cylindrical discs with a diameter of 55 to 65 cm and a height of 9.5-12 cm per cake. Each can weigh between 25 to 40 kg. To make just one loaf of Swiss cheese, you require more than 100 gallons of milk.
The milk is non- homogenized, unpasteurized and they do not add preservatives. Any unregulated supplements in the production process are strictly prohibited.
Gruyere cheese is slightly grainy with excellent taste. It has a specific complex flavor, initially feeling some fruit fiber and subsequently a comes deep, earthy and slightly milk taste.
If you try Gruyere, your olfactory receptors will be filled with the aroma of rural farms and experience the nuances of honey and nuts. The hard texture of Gruyere passes through the mouth smoothly and gently, leaving a salty taste and pungent spicy aroma with a slightly nutty flavor.
An important part of the whole period of ripening of Gruyere is that it is regularly washed with salt water and then turned. The process requires four and a half months of ripening, Gruyere is checked for quality and taste, and then packed and sent out commercially.
Composition of Gruyere
Gruyere is a hard cheese with a high fat content - up to 45%. The amount of calcium, which 100 g Gruyere gives us represents 101% of the daily requirement. It is a good source of sodium - 336 mg per serving and the amount of protein is – 30 g.
100 g Gruyere has about: Calories 413, Protein 29.81 g, Carbohydrates 0.36 g, Fat 32.34 g.
Culinary use of Gruyère
A firm yet soft Gruyere cheese is known as one of the finest cheeses for baking. It is considered an indispensable ingredient for making fondue, but is also a great fit for different sauces, dishes with chicken, and Cordon Bleu. It is often included in the composition of delicious and tasty sandwiches and salads and dressings.
Gruyere has a delicate aroma of nuts and a spicy taste, which makes it an excellent choice for an appetizer platter with cheese in - both individually and with fruits, such as grapes, figs and pears. If you want to choose the ideal accompaniment to Gruyere cheese, it is best to opt for a dry red wine, or dry Clara Rose.