Swiss Gruyere cheese: An Introduction
It must be noted that the true Gruyere is Swiss and does not have any holes. The French have developed the habit of calling their Emmental under the name Gruyere. The name is used for a number of cooked cheeses like Comté and Beaufort.
The area of production is situated in the Gruyere, the region of the Canton of Fribourg of which the historic capital is Gruyere. The town was founded by the religious counts who settled there in the 9th Century, and the castle still dominates the picturesque site, and the economic capital of Bulle, where the cheeses come from. The area of production of Gruyere consists of the Cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neufchatel, Jura, as well as the districts of Courtelary, Neveville and Moutier in the canton of Berne. In the canton of Jura, the best places are the Valley of the Brevine, Chaux-du-milieu and Chaux-d’Abel.
Characteristics of Swiss Gruyere
Gruyere cheese obtained a Swiss AOC in 2001.
Gruyere is in the shape of a wheel, it should have a grainy rind, which is an even brownish colour and clean. It should be well proportioned and shaped normally. The heel of the wheel should be slightly convex.
Height: 9.5 to 12cm
Diameter: 55 to 65cm
Weight: 25 to 40kg
Holes: the presence of holes is desirable, but not indispensable. The holes generally should have a diameter of 4 to 6mm.
Interior: The pate has a fine surface, slightly humid. It is soft and not crumbly. It is coloured ivory, but the colour varies with the season.
Taste: Dominated by a flavour which is more or less salty. Has a fruity flavour from the lactic fermentation. The flavour can vary depending on the area in which the milk was produced.