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Swiss Gruyere

 

 

GRUYERE

 

Origin:

SWITZERLAND - FRIBOURG

 

Type:

Cow's milk, unpasteurised; firm; pressed cooked curd, natural brushed rind ( inedible)

 

Fat content:

45%

 

History:

The origins of the name Gruyere date back to 1655.  The cheese is named after the area in the canton of Fribourg, where the cheese was first made. Cheese has been produced in this area since time immemorial.  Legend has it that Emperor Antonin the Pious died of indigestion in 161AD after having eaten too much cheese mad in the district of Gruyere.

In the early middle ages, herdsmen were allowed by the gentry to graze their cows on the high Alpine pastures.  They paid for this privilege in cheese.

Guillaume, the first Earl of Gruyere and his nephew Canon Ulrich founded the Cluniac Priory of Rougemont.  In 1115 Guillaume made a charter granting the Priory certain privileges, one of which was being supplied with cheeses produced in the Gruyere Alps.  The Abbey provided the cheese making equipment and the herdsmen the raw material.

The cheese trade in Fribourg is said to have started in 1249AD.  The sons of Rudolphe de Gruyere freed their subjects in the district of Gessenay from the charter of 1115 and gave them the right to produce "a fatty cheese" in these Alpine areas for export.  This allowed the producers to earn a living from their trade, and the rest is history.

 

Characteristics:

Brown, pebbled rind; smooth creamy-beige interior with occasional horizontal fissures (Lenures) near the rind; assertive flavour with hints of fruit and nuts; pleasantly fruity aroma.

 

Related Cheeses

French Abondance, Beaufort, Comte`, Emmental, Fribourg, Italian Groviera, Vacherin.

 

Appropriate Wines

Red or white Burgundies; Rhone reds such as Chateauneuf-du-Pape; Alsatian reds & whites

Bottom line

An outstanding cheese which by far outshines Emmental.