Who would like a slice of cheese in their sandwich? I bet you would. Or maybe some macaroni and cheese for breakfast? Now that’s a good one. What makes cheese one of the most consumed product in America, the United Kingdom, France, Italy and the world in general?
I’m reasonably sure it’s not the sweetest grocery on the planet, or the healthiest, or even the tastiest, but it indeed is one of the most used groceries items in most households.
Amongst the brands of cheese is the gruyere cheese. The cheese is Swiss cheese, really soft and takes as long as six months to cure.
What is a Gruyere Cheese?
As I said, the gruyere is one of the softest Swiss cheese that takes a least six months to prepare, and what more, it is made with pure and whole cow milk.
The cheese gets its name from the city Gruyeres in Switzerland, where the soft, light, creamy and nutty cheese is made. It also comes in pale yellow color (much like most cheese).
There are small Swiss holes in the cheese called “eyes,” made from the gas bubbles that the bacteria that is used in making the cheese.
However, compared to the other varieties of Swiss cheese, the gruyere has smaller and fewer holes, which could also be its distinctive feature.
Like other light cheeses, the gruyere is a good table cheese that you can serve as a cheese platter or on put in a sandwich. Because of it so soft, and melty, you can use the cheese for a fondue recipe or something even more French, like the French grilled sandwich, or as they would call it; the croque monsieur, a French delight that you can enjoy any time, any day.
Further Reading: What is Gruyère Cheese?
What does gruyere cheese taste like?
Gruyere is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming more assertive, earthy, and complex as it matures
The secret behind the melty, light and richly creamy nature of the gruyere
It’s no secret that the gruyere is light, melty and richly creamy, but what is the secret behind its creaminess and melty quality. Is it how they make the cheese? Or probably the kind of milk they use? Why don’t we find out?
Well, you guessed right, it is the way they make the cheese that makes it so melty. Naturally, the way cheese is made is that it is milk curdled till it becomes slightly thick. After that, it is squeezed so that the excess water in it can be reduced.
Now here’s the secret; it is what they use to continue curdling the milk that would determine whether the cheese will be stable or melty.
Cheeses curdled with acids like the ricotta and the queso fresco will not melt, even at the slightest.
On the other hand, where you use enzymes like the rennet to curdle the cheese, then you got yourself a melting cheese. Another important thing to note about cheese that would melt is the water-to-fat ratio; where the water is much in the milk, then it will be melty, with a little amount of fat.
On the other hand, where all the water has been squeezed out, then all you get is a breaking cheese, not a melting cheese. You probably know this by now, but you should also take into consideration the fact that cheeses usually dry out. Thus the longer (older) it is, the less melty it will become.
Some Good Gruyere Substitute on the Market
This part right here is probably an essential aspect of this article for you; and will answer your question “what can I substitute for gruyere cheese?”
Therefore, without further ado, I will give you four great gruyere cheese alternative.
The first thing you should know about this cheese is that it is a hard cheese, but works as well as the gruyere, making it a good gruyere cheese substitute.
It is made in Bern Emmental in Switzerland, where it also got its name. It is famously used in fondue recipes and sandwiches, as well as the bruschetta. You can also enjoy this medium strong cow milk cheese with some tarts and ravioli. It is famously used for some pastries, for your delight.
Aging time of this cheese takes at least 18 to 24 month (depending on the variant of this Swiss cheese).
Further Reading: What is a Substitute for Gruyere Cheese?
Still from a province of Switzerland (Valais) is a semi-hard cheese that gets its name from the recipe it is used in the most; the Raclette. It is also a good gruyere cheese alternative if you want to use it in your fondue recipe. Although it is semi-hard, it is very melty and is probably safe to put it in a saucer, when you want to serve it; which is why they call it the scrape cheese (derived from the French word, racler).
It would be a great idea to serve the cheese with cold water or beverages as it may solidify in the stomach causing indigestion. But all the same, it is still a good cheese like gruyere.
Who names cheeses? Well that’s not our concern, what is, is a good substitute for the gruyere cheese, and the next on my list is the Appenzeller Cheese.
Would you mind taking a wild guess, where the cheese is made from? You guessed right; this cheese is a semi-hard cheese made in Appenzell, Switzerland.
This cheese is perfect for cutlets, fondues, sandwiches, batters and other cheesed based meals. It is a good replacement for the gruyere cheese. Made with a brine that contains cider or wine, it can only last for 4-6 months, before being aged.
Further Reading: 5 Substitutes for Gruyère Cheese
Comté and Beaufort Cheese
One of the deluxe cheeses on the planet is the Comté and Beaufort Cheese, made in France, as a semi-hard cheese and used in the all kind of cheesy meal, thus the perfect and ideal gruyere cheese alternative.
The cow milk is usually unpasteurized making the making process a lot simple and easy for the makers. It is perfect in pastries, sandwiches, pizza, souffles, and fondue (amongst others). It takes about 8-10 month for the cheese to age.
Cheeses all over the world are part of our everyday meal, but to make a meal work, you will have to use the right ingredients, which is why the cheeses are diverse so that they can fit perfectly into any meal plan. Getting the right cheese will mean a lot to your recipe, which is why you would need to get a block of cheese that can go on anything, much like the gruyere cheese.
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