Garrotxa - Gruyere


Garrotxa is an aged goat cheese from the Pyrenees Mountain in the Catalonia region in Northern Spain. It is a semi-firm cheese that has a creamy texture, natural mold rind, with a light and delicate flavor with undertones of hazelnuts, thyme, and rosemary. The cheese is manufactured in small wheels that are approximately 2 lbs in size.

Country: Spain

Region: Garrotxa, Catalonia
Texture: Semi-firm
Type of Milk: Goat
Aging time: 60 days
Pasteurized: Both versions are produced


This is an AOC French cows milk cheese from Northeastern France. The cheese is made under different names on either side of the Vosges Mountains. In Alsace, on the eastern side of the mountains it is called Munster. In Lorraine, on the western side of the mountain it is known as Gerome. Munster received its AOC certification in 1969 but in 1978, the AOC Munster-Gerome united the two cheeses. This cheese has absolutely no resemblance to the generic, American version of the cheese Muenster. The French version is a very highly aromatic cheese with a sticky, red colored rind. The pate is smooth and creamy the cheeses full and rich flavor is attributed to the baryardy, grassy, and herbaceous aroma generated from the brine rubbed rind. The milk used to make Munster comes from the Vosgiennes cows, a breed that was imported from Scandinavia in the 18th century.

Country: France

Region: Alsace (North Eastern France)
Texture: Soft
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 2-3 Months
Pasteurized: By law in the US but not in most of Europe


Gorgonzola is a DOC Italian blue cheese from the designated areas of Piedmont and Lombardy. It used to be made from unpasteurized cows milk, but is now made primarily from pasteurized milk and the mold Peniccilium Glaucum is added to create the distinguishable blueish green veins. Its flavor is rich and buttery with the typical sharp characteristics of blue cheese. The pate has a straw color and with highly aromatic aroma. The cheeses are matured naturally in rock caves and can be used both as a table cheese and as an ingredient. At the end of production, each cylindrical form is wrapped in tin foil and marked with a lower case "g". It is Italy's most famous blue cheese and classified into two different categories according to age:

  • "Gorgonzola Dolce" - aged 2-3 months with a more mild flavor and a creamy texture. Dolce in Italian means sweet.
  • "Mountain Gorgonzola" - Aged 3-6 months with a more piquant flavor and crumbly texture.


Country: Italy

Region: Piedmont & Lombardy
Texture: Soft to Semi-soft Blue
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: 2-6 Months
Pasteurized: Both versions are available


Gouda is a cows milk Dutch cheese named after the city of Gouda in Holland. It is the most popular cheese in Holland as it accounts for 60% of the countries cheese production.  Young Gouda cheeses are ivory colored, semi-soft in texture and have a sweet and nutty flavor. While the cheese ages, the pate becomes more gold in color and firmer in texture. Its flavor is richer and has pockets of salt crystals. The cheese is dipped in wax to prevent it from drying out.  This also stops the aging process that prevents the formation of mold when the cheese is stored. There are five classifications of this cheese that are determined based on its maturity:

  • Mild – aged 4 to 6 weeks
  • Medium – aged 8-12 weeks
  • Matured – aged 12 to 18 weeks
  • Aged – aged 6-12 months
  • Extra aged – aged more than 1 year

Country: Holland

Region: Gouda
Texture: Semi-soft to firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 4 weeks
Pasteurized: Both versions are available

Grana Padano

Grana Padano is an Italian, DOP, cow’s milk cheese. Its name is derived from the Italian word “grana” which translates as “grain” to describe its hard and grainy texture and “Padano” which refers to the “Val Padana”, the cheeses origin in the Po River Valley. The cheese was originally created in the 12th Century by Cistercian monks. It is a Parmesan cheese that most closely resembles Parmigiano Reggiano in appearances and in its method of production but the major differences are as follows:

  • Grana Padano is made only with skimmed milk whereas Parmigiano Reggiano is made with a mix of skim and whole milk
  • The cows used graze on different pastures, resulting in different diets that create subtle nuances in its flavor
  • The Protected Area of Origin for Grana Padano is larger than the area of Parmigiano Reggiano


There are three versions of this cheese based on how long it ages:

  • "Fresco" - Aged between 12 and 18 months
  • "Vecchio" - Aged between 18 and 24 months
  • "Stravecchio" - Aged between 24 and 36 months

Country: Italy

Region: Parts of Emilia-Romagna, Lombardy, Piedmont, Trentino, and 
Texture: Hard

Type of Milk: Cow

Aging Time: 12-36 Months
Pasteurized: No


Gruyere is one of Switzerland's most popular cheeses. It is a name-controlled cheese made from cows milk and named after the town of Gruyere. It is now currently produced in the Fribourg region of Switzerland and made much in the same way as Emmental but in 80lb wheels rather than 200lb wheels. The flavor is complex, rich, sweet, nutty and caramelized with a lingering but not sharp flavor. It is an extremely popular Swiss cheese that is also an ingredient in traditional Fondue. There are three different types of Gruyere:

  • "Classic" - aged a minimum of 5 months
  • "Reserve" - Aged 10 to 16 months
  • "d'Alpage" - Taken from the Tarines cows from the months of May to October and aged for 5 to 10 months.


Le Gruyere d'Alpage is considered to be highly flavorful and the prized version of Gruyere. Gruyere is also a term used to describe mountain cheeses as a whole, particularly referencing some of the mountain cheese produced in France such as Comte and Beaufort. Because Gruyere is a name-controlled cheese, the French cousins cannot be named Gruyere. Additionally, French Gruyere style cheeses must have holes in them and Swiss Gruyere does not.

Country: Swtizerland

Region: Fribourg
Texture: Firm
Type of Milk: Cow
Aging Time: At least 5 months
Pasteurized: No