What Is Gruyère Cheese?

Gruyère goes great with charcuterie, on sandwiches, and in chicken cordon bleu. But what else do we know about this semi-hard cheese? Let’s take a closer look at the delicious but difficult to pronounce Gruyère. 

What is Gruyère cheese?

Gruyère is an Alpine-style semi-hard cow’s milk cheese beloved for its unique, nutty, slightly funky flavor and delightful meltability. 

How to pronounce Gruyère cheese?

The correct pronunciation of the word “Gruyère” is “groo-yehr.” Also, the correct pronunciation of the word “cheese” is “cheez,” but we’re guessing you didn’t need help with that one.  

Is Gruyère Swiss cheese?

Yes, Gruyère is a type of Swiss cheese. But it’s not like the sliced Swiss cheese you get at the supermarket. It typically doesn’t have Swiss cheese’s signature holes. I suppose, when it comes to Gruyère, the other kinds of Swiss are indeed holey-er than thou. 

Where is Gruyère cheese from?

Gruyère, as luck would have it, is originally from a little swiss town called, you guessed it, Gruyères in southern Switzerland. Cheesemakers in Gruyères and the surrounding area have been making it since the 12th century, but since then others have taken up the mantle of producing Gruyère-style cheese. According to a recent U.S. ruling, anyone who makes cheese in the style of a Gruyère can call it Gruyère. But if you ask a Swiss cheesemaker, that cheese is living a lie. 

Is Gruyère a hard cheese?

Well, not quite! Gruyère is by no means soft, either, but exists in the realm of “semi-hard” cheeses, which are cheeses that are firm in texture, but not as dry and crumbly as hard cheese. 

What does Gruyère cheese taste like?

Gruyère cheese has a sweet but slightly salty flavor—a real “best of both worlds” situation. It’s nutty and firm but also creamy, though the level of creaminess depends on the cheese’s age. The older Gruyère gets, the grainier the texture becomes. It’s also quite a pungent rinded cheese. So, if you can’t handle the smell of cheese you probably can’t handle Gruyère. 

What cheese is similar to Gruyère cheese?

Cheeses that have similar notes and textures as Gruyère include such favorites as Beaufort, Comté, Jarlsberg, Emmental, and Fontina. Enjoy them individually, or mixed together as one, all-powerful, super cheese! 

So, the next time you’re in the cheese aisle, and want to step outside the confines of your squaresville “cheddar and mozzarella” world, maybe take a ride on the reliable Gruyère train! It’s not only delicious as an ingredient or just on its own, but it has minimal holes! That means you theoretically get more cheese for your buck! It’s just good fiscal sense!

About the Author

Joe Rumrill

Joe Rumrill is a fictional one-eyed spinach-loving sailor created in 1929 by E.C Se- Wait, no, that's not right... Joe Rumrill is a stand up comedian and writer currently based in Los Angeles. His favorite thing about food is a close tie between the taste and the nutrients one gets from it. His least favorite thing about it is the "gritty, dirt-like quality some food has", but he's most likely referring to the time in third grade he was dared to eat playground sand.

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