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Dec 29, 2006 02:34 PM

What can i substitute for gruyere?

I want to make baked macaroni cheese which, according to the recipe requires cheddar, parmesan and gruyere. I am unable to find gruyere in the local supermarkets so is there something that i can use to substitute? Is parmesan ok?

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    1. I agree with C70 - Gruyere is a kind of Swiss, so go for a good one.

      17 Replies
      1. re: rcallner

        10/27/2014 I am presently sampling/comparison taste testing several cheeses against a Gruyere Grand Cru Cheese $7.49/6 oz. sold by Roth in Wisconsin. #1. Cracker Barrel Swiss-bland as compared to Gruyere. On sale $2.00/8 oz. #2. Cracker Barrel Aged Reserve Cheddar-to sharp/strong as compared to Gruyere same price/size #3. Mascarpone from Wisconsin-soft cheese $4.99 8 oz. (intended this to be added cheese for extra taste to cream cheese for making cheesecake) This cheese has almost no taste/will probably not use now in cheesecake? #4. Harris Teeter Store brand Brie-soft hoping for my cheesecake again $8.7 oz $5.21 Bitter/dull taste Yuck! OK, overall the Gruyere is hands down superior tasting to all so far. Im going to buy more of it and see how it melts/blends in things like cheesecake etc.. Very tasty. fredG

        1. re: FredG

          I wouldn't ever expect Mascarpone or Brie to do well in mac and cheese.

          Brie wouldn't ever, ever be a candidate for cheesecake, even for a savoury one!

          1. re: FredG

            Roth Wisconsin has something to do with a gruyere-type cheese but not too much.
            In fact, 2-3 years ago, they were supposed to change the name of their grand cru gruyere to grand cru as the Swiss brought a suit against them for using the name.
            Buy an older Swiss gruyere at a cheese shop not in a plastic tomb of packaging, melt that one and enjoy cheese as good as it gets.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              when I'm fortunate enough to find an older Swiss Gruyere at a cheese shop that's not entombed in plastic, I'm afraid it never manages to get to the pan...I'll have eaten it all.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger


                  (don't get me started on the chances a well-aged Comté stands chez moi, particularly if it has crystals...

                  1. re: sunshine842

                    On this forum,l do not request women up to see my etchings, but taste my 'grana' crunch comte.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      it definitely weeds out the riff-raff! LOL

                      1. re: sunshine842

                        You guys ever get into Paris ?
                        Maybe a meal ?

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          I would love to -- unfortunately, the last trip was last month, and nothing on the agenda for a while!

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Looks like they've dropped the gruyère part of the name:

                So what does it taste like and what would lead someone to think that it could be compared to cheddar, brie or mascarpone?

                As for the OP's question, I would go for a nice Beaufort d'été. ;)

                1. re: SnackHappy

                  It tastes ' like' a gruyere, but IMVHO not as rich or full flavored. Nor can you get the extensive aging available on gruyeres.

                  While beaufort des alpages is certainly wonderful, it will be more difficult to get in US than a decently aged gruyere.

                  Assume the OP is very new to cheese and knows them as names now but is trying to learn.

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    "While beaufort des alpages is certainly wonderful, it will be more difficult to get in US than a decently aged gruyere."

                    Yeah, I wouldn't expect the OP to have access to that sort of cheese if they can't find gruyère. Although a lot could have happened in the 8 years since this thread was started. I was just trying to make a bit of funny, hence the wink.

                    Thanks for the info on the Roth Cheese. I reckon it must be like some of the gruyère-type cheeses we have here in Québec. Most of them are ok, but they don't have the flavour of a Gruyère de Grotte or a two or three-year-old Comté, even though they are in the same price range.

                    1. re: SnackHappy

                      Should you ever get to Tasmania, in Launceston is the maker Heide gruyere. lt totally rocks and is easily the equal of the swiss.
                      Once there they had 4 year old they could not sell as too old, and gave it to me for nothing, a very large chunk, a major oh my.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        oh, how noble you are for taking it off their hands.


                2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  We don't have geographically protected status in the US like they do in the EU, so where do the Swiss get off suing anybody here? They should have told them to pound sand.

                  1. re: Jobe1

                    l am on their side, cannot call sparkling wine here Champagne and many others due to not the region of protected manufacture.

            2. If you're trying to stay true to the recipe get some kind of good swiss, but it's mac and cheese-I've seen every cheese under the sun called for in some mac recipe or another. You could substitute almost anything provided it melts nicely.

              1. With the cheddar, you can even add (heaven forbid), American
                Cheese, or any cheese that will melt. If you add more parmesean, the consistency might be too grainy.

                And when I buy Swiss cheese, I buy domestic. A lot of people like Boars Head, but it has less flavor to me.


                1 Reply
                1. re: mcel215

                  " can even add (heaven forbid), American

                  Goodness. For certain uses, American cheese is irreplaceable.

                2. Saying Swiss for cheese is as silly as saying French for wine. Emmenthal is nutty and mellow so not as similar to gruyere. I would suggest raclette or just add more cheddar (make sure it's sharp) since adding more parmesan won't make the cheese as stringy. You can also consider adding fontina with the sharp cheddar or aged gouda. If you want to be a bit different, substitute all cheeses with smoked gouda, mozzarella and parmesan.

                  9 Replies
                  1. re: swissfoodie

                    Not sure what part of the world you live in, swissfoodie, but here in Los Angeles every single supermarket sells a cheese called "swiss cheese." While surely there are fine cheese stores that will provide a variety of cheeses from Switzerland, there is a standard cheese sold here that is simply called "swiss cheese." Some brands are bland, some are decent (Boarshead was mentioned), but I believe the other posters were simply trying to be helpful in suggesting swiss, because if the original poster lives in a place where he or she cannot find guyere, it's pretty unlikely they will be able to find emmentaler or raclette.

                    1. re: DanaB

                      It doesn't mean because the large food companies that seek to simplify things for the average American call a product they attempt to promote as cheese 'Swiss' that one can't make a clarification on a food/gourmet forum. And for the record, I live in Canada where the same nomenclature unfortunately applies yet some of us make an effort to drive a bit further to find quality products rather than to settle.

                      1. re: swissfoodie

                        I think everyone would agree that clarifications are great, but that simply wasn't what you were doing. For the record, there is a cheese designated as Swiss Cheese, aka American Swiss Cheese. Yes, it is to emulate Switzerland's Emmentaler, but it is different from it and has its own characteristics. I.e., it's a legitimate choice of cheese, even if you consider it dumbed-down for the average American's palette.

                        1. re: swissfoodie

                          So, my comments haven't shown up on here so far, perhaps because someone is mad that I stood up to this swissfoodie dude. I'm just saying, no need to be snotty.

                        2. re: DanaB

                          I live in Singapore. Cheese is seldom used as an ingredient, much less eaten on its own so it's really hard to find the cheeses mentioned in overseas cookbooks. The usual ones are just mozarella and parmesan. It's really a pity the cheese selection is so limited.

                          1. re: DanaB

                            Kudos to you, DanaB, for your reply about Swiss Cheese! You said precisely what I was thinking .. thank you!

                            1. re: DanaB

                              In North America we have a cheese called "swiss cheese." No such cheese exists in Switzerland. There are many distinct varieties of swiss cheeses. But you are mistaken in saying it would be difficult to find emmentaler in Los Angeles (or anywhere else in North America) since what people in NA call "swiss" is usually a type of emmentaler. The point is that just because two different types of cheese originate in Switzerland doesn't mean they are at al similar or good substitutes for one another. Gruyere is a sharp, salty cheese, whereas emmental is not. Cheddar would be a better substitute for gruyere than emmental/"swiss."

                              1. re: DanaB

                                Raclette is a very soft, mild-flavored cheese with a very low melting point that's not aged...yes, it's produced in the Alps from cow's milk....but any similarity to Gruyere from there on is purely accidental.

                                Go with a good Swiss or an Emmental if you can find it....those are the closest.

                                The Comte down the page is a good call, too.

                              2. re: swissfoodie

                                ITA with this. I have yet to find a "swiss" cheese that has the same intensity of flavor as gruyere. I'd substitute sharp cheddar.