February’s Cheese of the Month

The cheese of Gruyere has had to fight its way into the history of Switzerland. 

As early as the 12th century this cheese was made as a survival staple for the cow herders in the mountains of Gruyere. Which is how this cheese received its name. These herdsman, in the summer months bring there cows up to graze on the mountaintops and as the story goes as they got higher and higher the grass would get sweeter and sweeter until even the herdsman ate the grass as well. 

As this ascent to the mountains the herdsman became cheese makers as well having milking stations/huts so they could milk the cows, but then also make cheese. Gruyere has to be made within the first eighteen hours of milking the cow, according to the AOC regulations. 

Gruyere is a hard cheese and potent in its earthy and nutty undertones. The aging of this cheese is what makes the taste so irresistible. Because of that irresponsibility many tried to replicate it and then was made in France. The Swiss and French began to quarrel about the origin and history of this cheese. Each claiming it as their own. It was a continuous battle, and now Madrid, Paris, and Rome where involved in the dispute.  Between 1890-2001 they debated, and in the end Switzerland won. In 2011, Gruyere gained its seal of AOP, meaning the designated origin in protected. 

This cheese is used in so many varieties and has such a unique flavor. I am so excited to get started with all the recipes to come this month. You will love them, I am sure.

I work for Alpenwild, Swiss Tours perfected and they have given you a way to see how beautiful and amazing this cheese really is, check it out.

 

 

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