What is gruyère cheese?
A classic, traditional swiss cheese, gruyère is a semi-hard cheese made from cow's milk that was first made in the town of Gruyère, Switzerland. Gruyère cheese has a firm texture, a rich, slightly nutty taste, and a pale yellow color. Gruyère is riddled with cracks, though they're smaller than the "eyes" that are common to other swiss cheeses; they're the result of gas bubbles created by bacteria as the cheese is made. Gruyère melts beautifully – it's one of the two classic cheeses used in fondue – but it can also be sliced or grated easily.
What is alpine-style cheese?
Alpine-style cheese is a cheese that's made in the fashion of classic mountain cheeses like gruyère, emmental, fontina, and comté, but is not produced in one of the alpine countries. Wisconsin cheesemakers make alpine-style cheese using the same old-world techniques, including copper vats.
How is alpine-style or gruyère cheese made?
Alpine-style or gruyère cheese is made with cow's milk that is coagulated with natural culture and rennet in large copper cauldrons to form a firm curd. The curd is cut and drained, then poured into molds, compressed for hours, and soaked in brine. Stored in wheels in an aging room, the cheese is hand-washed and rotated regularly to prevent unwanted bacterial growth. Gruyère is then aged 5 to 18 months.