Swiss cheeses is a funny thing, isn’t it? I mean when you say Swiss cheese, most people think of a mild, springy cheese with holes in it, but really shouldn’t Swiss cheese be any cheese from Switzerland?
Well folks, this is the case today, where I show you a cheese from Switzerland–a Swiss cheese–that is not what most of us typically imagine to be “Swiss cheese”: Gruyère.
Many of us are very familiar with this classic dairy delight, even if you’re not aware of it. You see, Gruyère is the traditional cheese that gets melted on top of your steaming hot bowl of French Onion Soup! So even if you never realized it, there’s a good chance you’ve already tried Gruyère.
Coming in a few different varieties, including cave-aged, Gruyère gets its named from the Swedish town where it originated: Gruyères. And if you judged a cheese by smell at first sight, you might not be too crazy about this one, seeing as it is a washed-rind cheese, but trust me its bark is much, much worse than its bite. The classic version of Gruyère is aged for about 6 to 9 months and has a dark yellow-ish paste, sometimes with a few cracks through it. It’s slightly creamy and fairly mild with a slightly sweet but nutty and earthy note, making it ideal for both cooking and snacking.
As I mentioned before, Gruyère is a classic cheese to shred on top of French Onion Soup, so as you can imagine, it’s an excellent melting cheese. This makes it a great choice for so many applications in food:
- on a grilled cheese sandwich along with some smoky/sweet mustard
- melted over sautéed mushrooms with grilled chicken
- shredded on top of French Onion Soup (obviously)
- as a base for mac & cheese
- as a base for fondue
- as a base for pretty much any melty cheese sauce
This cheese will be one of the features for us at the Glen Rock Vineyard Market all month (along with some other goodies), so be sure to stop in for a taste!