When you think of Swiss cheese, you think of holes. But Gruyère, which has a smooth texture, is the most produced and most consumed cheese within Switzerland.
Gruyère cheese is a component of a classic Swiss fondue, along with European dishes like quiche and Croque monsieur.
We visited the Maison du Gruyère to find out how this popular cheese is made.
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The town of Gruyères is in the French-speaking region of Fribourg, east of Geneva. Fribourg is one of five areas, including Bern, Jura, Vaud, and Neuchâtel, that make up the Gruyère AOP production zone.
Gruyère has a long heritage. Records of cheesemaking go back to the 12th century in this region.
Today, 30,000 tons of Gruyere are produced here each year. The Maison du Gruyère is responsible for 520 tons of that. In 2018, over 15,000 tons of Gruyère were sold in Switzerland, making it the most consumed cheese in the country, ahead of mozzarella and Emmentaler.
Gruyère was granted AOP protection from the EU in 2001, meaning that these areas are the “protected designation of origin.” But there are a few qualifications for this. It must be made using traditional know-how, it must be aged to a minimum of five months, and it must be made using raw milk from natural-fed cows, from dairies no more than 20 kilometers away.
The cheese is stored at around 15 degrees, at high humidity. It also has to be kept on wooden shelves. The cellars here house 7,000 wheels of cheese. Gruyère is aged here for five months, at which point it is ready to eat.
Gruyere is the main ingredient of fondue moitié-moitié, also called fondue Suisse. In many Swiss regions, Gruyère cheese is the most popular ingredient in fondue. It’s a versatile and popular
Source:: Business Insider