A perfect storm of sweet, savory, nutty, pungent, salty, all combined in an unassuming little piece of cheese. Gruyere is a PDO cheese from Switzerland.
Gruyere cheese (pronounced Grew-yair) is named for the village of its origination, Gruyeres Switzerland. The making of traditional Gruyere is an art. The milk must be obtained from cows that have been fed only grass or hay, only milk from two milkings are allowed in a batch and it must only be prepared in copper pots. The milk must be full fat and unpasteurized. The aging process occurs in stages that can take anywhere from 5 – 16 months. Traditionally prepared Gruyere tastes infinitely different than conventional manufactured Gruyere cheeses out on the market so if you have a chance to get your hands on the real deal, I encourage you to do so.
From a culinary perspective, Gruyere is a flavorful, easy melting cheese that can be added to a variety of savory dishes without overpowering or disappearing. It’s amazing raw, in quiches, on sandwiches, and don’t forget fondue!
From a nutritional perspective, cheese provides a good source of complete protein and minerals and vitamins, like calcium and vitamin B12. Cheese is umami and satisfies the palate as well as stimulates digestion and nutrient uptake. You have umami taste receptors in your gut that appear to help regulate the digestive process as well as signal satiation. Research suggests that consuming a good quality cheese in moderation can also help regulate blood sugar in insulin balance. The key to eating cheese, besides enjoying every delightful morsel, is to make sure that you are going the extra step and purchasing full fat, high quality cheese, whether goat, cow, or sheep. It may cost a little bit more but you will also eat less because it will be more satisfying to your palate and body.