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.