Swiss Cheese Gruyère

Meet the sultan of Swiss cheese: gruyère

A truly ancient and traditional Swiss cheese, gruyère is a leader among its peers. Cheese lovers around the world over prize gruyère for its nutty, complex, full-bodied flavor and its dense texture that grows flakier and more granular with age.

In Wisconsin, we're a little less lofty about gruyère – we love it because it's delicious and it melts like a dream. In fact, we're so crazy about gruyère, we now make our own alpine-style cheeses that can go head-to-head with a Swiss cheese like gruyère any day of the week.

Polk around our website to meet our alpine-style cheeses and many other Wisconsin masterpieces. Search our index for recipes and great ideas for your next meat and cheese board or holiday gift basket. Or scroll down for tips on pairing Swiss cheese, gruyère, and alpine-style cheese with food and beverages.

Pairing Swiss cheese, gruyère, and alpine-style cheese

Any Swiss cheese like gruyère or emmentaler is perfect in French onion soup, Croque monsieur sandwiches, soufflés, and cheese fondue – all the classic European melted cheese dishes. On a cheese board, we'll pair gruyère with a whole-grain crusty bread, pickled vegetables, smoked fish and meats, oiled-cured mushrooms, and roasted nuts.

A Swiss cheese like gruyère wants a beverage that slightly sweet. When drinking wine, try a fruit-forward white like riesling or grüner veltliner, or reds like zinfandel, beaujolais, and cabernet sauvignon. If you favor a pint, try a Belgian style ale, amber or brown ale, bock or stout. When you're drinking the heavier stuff, a port, madeira, scotch, or rye whiskey are all good with gruyère and alpine-style cheeses.

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FAQs: Is gruyère a Swiss cheese?

Is gruyère a Swiss cheese?

Gruyère cheese is a product of Switzerland, which technically makes it a Swiss cheese. However, the actual term "swiss cheese" is an American invention and refers to an entire family of cheeses made in the style of the mountain cheeses originally from the Swiss Alps. Gruyère is one of many cheeses made in Switzerland.

How is a Swiss cheese like gruyère made?

Gruyère is typically made in large copper vats, where cow's milk is heated and treated with rennet to coagulate the milk and separate the curd. The curd is poured into molds where it's pressed and immersed in a salt brine for hours. The cheese is then smeared with bacteria and ripened for several months, during which it's regularly turned to distribute moisture evenly. Some gruyère is aged with cave cheese techniques.

What's the difference between American swiss cheese and gruyère?

American swiss cheese and gruyère have a similar appearance, flavor, and texture. American swiss is characterized by large holes, or eyes, while gruyère typically is filled with much smaller cracks throughout. Both are a semi-hard cheese, thanks to compression during the cheesemaking process. Both are excellent melting cheeses. Both have a nutty, slightly sweet flavor, though gruyère tends to have a stronger flavor than American swiss depending on the age of the cheese. Gruyère cheese rinds are thick and brownish colored, while American swiss cheese does not have a rind.

What is alpine-style cheese?

Alpine-style cheese is any cheese that is made in the fashion of the classic mountain cheeses from the Swiss, Austrian, French or Italian Alps. Wisconsin cheesemakers make award-winning alpine-style cheeses using the same processes and equipment as traditional cheeses like gruyère and emmental.

Alpine-style cheese – straight from the rolling hills of Wisconsin

If thrilling mountains were required to make a great Swiss cheese like gruyère, Wisconsin would be dead in the water. Our gentle rolling hills have their own kind of beauty, but they're no match for the Swiss Alps.

Fortunately, it turns out you don't need Alps to make alpine-style cheese. Just as they've done for 180 years, our master cheesemakers have taken a great old-world recipe like gruyère, found a way to perfect it, and then tweaked it to make it even better. It's that kind of ingenuity that has made Wisconsin the unofficial capital of the cheese world. It's why we produce more styles, flavors, and varieties of cheese than anywhere else on the planet, and why we've won more awards than any other country on earth – including Switzerland.

So next time you have a hankering for swiss cheese or gruyère, try a Wisconsin alpine-style variety instead. We're pretty sure you'll be thrilled with the veritable mountain of flavor this cheese delivers.

Craving award-winning aged cheddar, pining for parmesan, or searching for a new cheese to try? The world’s best cheese is just a click away! Explore our directory of Wisconsin cheesemakers and retailers who offer online cheese shopping and get cheese shipped right to your door. What are you waiting for?

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