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Jan 2, 2007 07:15 PM

gruyere cheese

Hi Everyone,

I'm planning on making French onion soup this weekend. When checking upon recipes, they usually call for gruyere cheese. I have not had this type of cheese before, and I am not a big fan of strong flavoured cheese. So can anyone tell me more about this cheese, and what can I substitue with it? Thanks in advance.

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  1. Gruyere is a type of Swiss cheese. Personally, I'm not a fan of Swiss (tastes like stinky feet to me). My husband is, though, so I'll buy it for him and if I can, I'll use it for his portion and use another cheese or leave the cheese out of my portion.

    If you're doing baked French onion soup with the cheese melted on top, Swiss is going to probably be your best bet. If you aren't a fan of Swiss, I recently made French onion soup without doing the melted cheese and it was fantastic on its own.

    1. It's similar to Swiss cheese. If you do a search on gruyere, there was a similar topic last week with a lot of options....

      1. As mentioned, Gruyere is a type of Swiss Cheese named after the town of Gruyeres in Switzerland. It is strong in both flavor and price, so you can probably go with any other type of less expensive, less strong swiss as a viable option.

        I like swiss cheese, and I think Gruyere is delicious, but out of my budget most of the time, so I go with an Irish swiss or Emmental.

        1. Gruyere is my favorite cheese. It's not strong, and has a sort of nutty taste. It's a fantastic match with the onion soup. Gruyere has several price points, depending mostly on the length of aging (and the quality of manufacture). Young gruyeres can be relatively inexpensive.

          Compte is a similar cheese made in France (it can only be called "gruyere" if it's made in Switzerland). Sometimes that's cheaper.

          I can't imagine onion soup without gruyere, frankly. But if I absolutely couldn't find it, I'd use Jarlsberg or Emmenthaler.

          1 Reply
          1. re: C. Hamster

            >>it can only be called "gruyere" if it's made in Switzerland<<

            According to the Wikipedia article on Gruyère, that's been true since 2001, when the EU granted Swiss Gruyère AOC status. And, interestingly, the *Encyclopédie des fromages*, which limits itself to French cheeses, doesn't have an entry for Gruyère. That being said, I still see French "Gruyère" at various local cheesemongers. Old traditions die hard?

          2. Gruyère-type cheeses are made in northwestern Switzerland and the adjacent parts of France. Usually a pale golden-tawny colour, Gruyère is firm and smooth and doesn't have "holes" like Emmental, which is what most people imagine when they think of Swiss cheese. The flavour is not particularly strong and is usually described as buttery, nutty and salty. As with many other firm cheeses, aging makes the flavour sharper and more complex. It melts beautifully and combines well with other flavours, which is why it's often called for in gratin, quiche, fondue and soup recipes. Comté and Beaufort make good substitutes.