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What Is Gruyere Cheese and What Does It Taste Like?

What Is Gruyere Cheese and What Does It Taste Like?

If you’re familiar with Gruyere cheese, you must know that it’s a hard and yellow cheese that’s made from cow’s milk.

Once it’s prepared, it’s usually ripened for around two months on wooden boards at room temperature. 

It’s turned after every few days to make sure there’s an even distribution of moisture.

It can be cured for up to 10 months, and the longer it’s allowed to age, the more intense and earthy the flavor gets. 

In this blog, we’ll take a closer look at Gruyere cheese, what it tastes like, and what it can be used for.

What Is Gruyere Cheese?

Gruyere cheese is a type of Swiss cheese that’s incredibly smooth and it’s prepared from whole cow’s milk.

It’s typically cured for about six months or longer.

It’s the perfect table cheese, which means it can be served as part of a cheese platter, eaten in slices, or added on a sandwich. 

It’s also one of the two primary kinds of cheese that are used to make fondue the traditional way.

It can be combined with Emmental (another cheese used to make fondue) to prepare the classic Croque Monsieur (French grilled cheese sandwich) because it’s extremely gooey and creamy in flavor. 

It was named after the town of Gruyeres that’s located in Switzerland where it was first invented.

It usually has a few tiny holes that are characteristic of Swiss cheese.

These holes, or eyes, are formed by bubbles that are released from the bacteria that are used to prepare the cheese.

What Does Gruyere Cheese Taste Like?

Most people describe the flavor of Gruyere cheese as sweet but slightly salty. It’s known to have an incredibly creamy texture.

When it’s fully aged, it develops tiny cracks and the texture becomes slightly grainy. 

What Is Gruyere Cheese Used for?

Gruyere cheese melts extremely well. You can use it with white wine and garlic to make the most delicious fondue or serve it on top of crusty bread or roasted potatoes to enjoy a fun dinner with friends and family. 

Because it’s so creamy and gooey in texture, it’s great to use for baking.

You can add into your quiche to enhance the flavor, melt it on bite sized pieces of toast and pair with French onion soup. 

You can also make the French grilled cheese sandwich with ham or incorporate into your bread dough to enjoy cheesy bread on a picnic.

It can be grated on top of pastasalads, and pretty much anything that comes to your mind.

If you like preparing cheeseboards, you can serve tiny slices of Gruyere cheese with fruits like apples, grapes, and pears.

The nuttiness of gruyere tastes amazing against the sweet and citrusy flavors of these fruits.

If you love making comfort foods like Mac and cheese for dinner on lazy weeknights, this is just the cheese you need in your refrigerator.

You can serve slices of gruyere with wines that are slightly sweet in flavor such as Riesling, Chardonnay, or dessert wines.

These are known to enhance the flavor of the cheese without overpowering it. 

What’s a Good Substitute for Gruyere Cheese?

Even though Gruyere is quite unique in texture and flavor, there are many substitutes you can try instead that share similar qualities.

Gruyere is also not the most affordable cheese, so here are some alternatives that are a little bit easier on your pockets:

  • Comté is a type of cheese that’s slightly milder in flavor but incredibly similar to Gruyere in terms of texture. It’s dense, has undertones of salt and butter, and makes a great substitute for Gruyere cheese.
  • Emmentaler is a different take on a Swiss cheese that has a firm but softer consistency than Gruyere. The flavor has subtle nuances of soft butter and hazelnut. It’s also one of the two main cheeses, other than Gruyere, that’s used to make the traditional recipe of fondue.
  • Some other substitutes you can try are Beaufort, Jarlsberg, and Raclette.

It’s important to note that when you’re using Gruyere substitutes in a recipe and you only need to add a tiny amount, the type of cheese you end up choosing won’t make that much of a difference. 

But if the recipe calls for several cups of Gruyere, your safest bet would be to go with a regular American Swiss cheese.

Use high-moisture cheese when you’re going for a more gooey and creamy end result.

Bottom Line

Gruyere cheese turns gooey when it’s cooked so it’s just the cheese you should use if you want the end product of your recipe to be extremely rich and creamy in flavor.

You can serve it in a cheese platter, use it to prepare your grilled cheese sandwich, or simply pair it with a sweet wine like Chardonnay, the possibilities are endless.

Even though it’s a little bit on the pricier side, it’s the ultimate cheese to have in your fridge because it can make the simplest recipes taste absolutely divine.

Alex @

Saturday 9th of September 2023

Excellent article! Your comprehensive guide on using Gruyère cheese in various dishes and its pairing with wines is truly informative. The substitute suggestions are very handy too. This has definitely inspired me to experiment more with this versatile cheese in my cooking. Keep up the great work!


Ronald John

Saturday 3rd of April 2021

I enjoyed the Gruyere Cheese article. Very interesting and descriptive. Making my own mac and cheese is enjoyable. It's fun to experiment with different cheeses. I will have to try some Gruyere. Thanks!