Gruyere is well known and most people have a pretty good expectation of what they are about to encounter when they take a wee nibble. Gruyere originated in Fribourg Switzerland but it is a mere five hour drive to France and the land covers a very rich pastoral area that allows for such large cheeses to be produced.
A cooked and pressed cheese, the beautiful melt in your mouth texture is achieved through pressure being applied once the cheese is placed in its mould. This reduces the air bubbles (so no wee mouse holes) and creates and simply divine dough. Rich and caramel in flavour due to the cheese making process that involves cooking the milk to a higher temperature, the velvety creamy texture of Gruyere is what makes it so delicious. Each wheel is up to 50kg in weight and has a clean caramel hint and a fruity undertone that is well matched with fruits and nuts.
The word ‘gruyer’ is French for tax collector and in the Middle Ages he would accept cheese and wood in lieu of payment. The term is used today for all cooked and pressed cheeses that are made in large format wheels such as this. Perfect for winter cooking, we cant get enough of melted gruyere on anything simply due to that caramel taste that works so well with ham, cream and gentle woody spices such as caraway and cumin.