Monday, November 1, 2010

Cheese of the Month: Gruyère A.O.C.

The origins of the cheese name Gruyere dates back to 1655 when gruyère depicted the district of the canton of Fribourg in Switzerland where the cheese is made. Gruyere is a picturesque area in the alpine foothills with lush pastures which surround the lovely village of Gruyères, a Medieval market place.

The regions of production are: The cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel, Jura, the districts of Courtelary, La Neuveville, Moutier and
several bordering villages in the canton of Bern.

Made from cow's milk, the cheese is matured for five months for mild Gruyère; eight months for semi-salty (the most in demand and the most sold); about ten months for the salty variety and at least twelve months for prime-quality Gruyère.

Shape and appearance: The cheese is in the shape of a millstone, with a washed
and brushed, grainy, uniformly brownish and healthy rind-like crust. The heel is slightly convex.
Height: 9.5 - 12 cm, Alpage: 9 - 11cm

Diameter: 55 - 65 cm, Alpage: 50 - 65 cm
Weight: 25 - 40 kg (average 35 kg), Alpage: 20 - 35 kg (average 25 kg)

The cheese is smooth to the touch with a slightly damp feel. It is soft, reasonably firm and not very crumbly. Its even ivory colouring varies according to t
he season. The dominant fruity and nutty flavours can vary in taste according to the region of origin.

You can use Gruyère as an alternative to cheddar in any dish. It is also the perfect cheese for fondues.

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