What Is Gruyere Cheese And How to Use It

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Kaye Published: June 25, 2021 Modified: October 1, 2021
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Whether you’re on the prowl for dairy knowledge or a suitable ingredient for a recipe, you might benefit from getting to know gruyere cheese! Stick around and discover everything about it, including what it tastes like and how you can use it in your own culinary journey. We’ve also put together a short list of cheese recipes that you can try making at home. Continue reading to find out more.

What Is Gruyere Cheese?

Slices of le gruyere cheese on a plate

Gruyère cheese (pronounced as groo-yehr), is a type of hard Swiss dairy product that originates from a medieval town in Switzerland called Gruyères. This product is traditionally made from unpasteurized cow’s milk of the female dairy cattle (bos taurus) found in the French-speaking part of the country. The aging period of gruyere is three to six months on average, although dairy farms may choose to allot a longer period for this step. 

In terms of appearance, you can tell it apart from other cheese types by taking note of some of its distinct features. It has a pale yellow color, and it may sometimes have holes called “eyes”. These are smaller than that of emmentaler (another type of cheese) and its other closely related Swiss cheese cousins. Gruyere also has a firm texture, and it’s a good melting cheese since it turns incredibly creamy when exposed to higher temperatures.

Compared to other types of cheese, gruyere can be quite pricey even though it’s by no means a rare find. You can typically buy it in supermarkets around the United States and different parts of the world, so it’s a perfectly accessible yet high-end type of cheese that you can get to elevate your dishes. This cheese also keeps well. It would stay in prime condition for up to six months if stored properly. Beyond that, it would still be safe for human consumption so it would last years in your refrigerator.

What Does Gruyere Cheese Taste Like?

Platter with cheese slices, jam, nuts, biscuits, fruits, and black berries

Different versions of this Swiss dairy product come in a range of flavors, largely depending on the length of its aging process. All in all, you’ll find that gruyere tastes full-bodied and salty, with slight hints of nuttiness and sweetness. Some may also impart a mild fruity flavor. As a general rule of thumb, you should opt for younger-aged versions if you want creamier and nuttier flavors. On the other hand, you should go for those that are either smoked or aged longer if you prefer something earthier or spicier.

Because of its complex flavor, you can enjoy this Swiss cheese with a wide selection of drinks. For instance, smoked varietals would be better off with sweet wines like grenache and zinfandel. Meanwhile, regular gruyere cheese that already possesses sweet and fruity flavors would better complement the taste of crisp sauvignon blanc or red wines along the lines of dry pinot noir or demi-sec merlot. A sparkling glass of champagne would also be a superior choice. 

READ ALSO: 10 Best Champagne Glasses to Buy in 2021

If you can’t get your hands on this ingredient, you may want to try other types of cheeses with a similar taste and texture. The creamy French cheese called comté is a good gruyere cheese substitute especially for recipes that require melting. Varieties in the Swiss cheese family such asraclette, emmentaler (and it’s Norwegian offshoot called jarlsberg) also come close because they impart a combination of nutty, salty, and sweet cheese taste as well.

READ ALSO: 12 Best Gruyere Cheese Substitute Options to Try

How to Use Gruyere Cheese

creamy macaroni salad

Aside from imparting a unique flavor, the texture of gruyere is another one of its claims to fame. Because it melts well, bakers, and cooks often use it for recipes that would benefit from an added gooey element.

So, what is gruyere cheese good for? This ingredient is a suitable soft filling for a cheese sandwich like the popular French dish called croque monsieur, or a standard grilled cheese. Aside from that, it’s also commonly used for making fondue and French onion soup. Mac and cheese with gruyere is a pretty popular option as well. Although, you may also opt not to cook it at all by serving it sliced on a cheese platter with wine. 

READ ALSO: 12 Best Fondue Pot Sets To Get In 2021

5 Best Gruyere Cheese Recipes to Try

Panera French Onion Soup Recipe (Copycat) - Light soup made of caramelized onions and wine-infused beef broth with crispy baguette croutons and torched gruyere or emmental cheese on top on baked in the oven on a ramekin

Check out this short curated list of ours for some of the best gruyere cheese recipes that you can try to recreate at home:

  • Panera French Onion SoupSlightly caramelize some shredded gruyere cheese on a bowl of light French onion soup with crispy croutons to add a rich and creamy element to your dish.
  • Stuffed Twice-Baked Potatoes with Ham, Mushrooms, and Gruyere Cheese This is one of the recipes with gruyere cheese that you’ll find extremely useful for get-togethers and holiday dinners. Make a flavorful stuffing for your baked spuds by stirring in this nutty cheese together with creams and seasonings into your mashed potatoes before baking.
  • Super Macaroni and CheeseShred this hard cheese and melt it with briny Pecorino Romano, extra sharp cheddar, and creamy Neufchâtel cheese for a gratifying gooey gruyere mac and cheese experience.
  • Bacon, Tomato, Gruyere Omelette – Spruce up your morning breakfast by incorporating this incredibly creamy and good melting cheese into your fluffy omelet, along with some crispy bacon bits and tart tomato slices. 
  • Asparagus Gruyère Tart Use this rich-tasting Swiss cheese to complement the slightly bitter vegetal undertones of asparagus and tie this savory tart together.  

READ ALSO: 12 Best Cheese Graters For Cheese Lovers

Switch up Your Dishes With Gruyere Cheese

Now that you know that gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese that melts incredibly well, we highly suggest trying it out on some of your favorite dishes. Feel free to melt it on sandwiches and fondue pots, use it to elevate your regular mac and cheese, and experiment with other recipes! 

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Kaye

Kaye is a writer and a recent oat milk convert. With a background in Language Studies, she has founded a deep appreciation of cultures, traditions, and the power of words. In her spare time, she enjoys testing some of the trendiest and most accessible recipes on the internet.

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