Gruyère cheese

Gruyère (French: Le Gruyère ) is a Swiss hard cheese with a protected designation of origin (AOC ) from the raw milk of cows. In 2007, the production volume amounted to 28 715 tonnes. Of these, around 15,000 tonnes were sold in Switzerland. The main export market is Germany ( 2,500 tons). Gruyère is made ​​in Switzerland in a total of 185 dairies and 51 mountain farms.


The cheese making can be traced back in the Gruyère region to the year 1113. In a product originating in that year certificate of the first Count of Greyerz donations of cheese to the abbey of Mont Rouge are mentioned. However, it remains unclear what kind of cheese was.

The use of the name Gruyère as a term for a type of cheese that may have been similar to today Gruyere is first documented in records in 1602, when the government of Freiburg offered the delegates of the French Embassy fourteen loaves of it as a gift. What he meant was the cheese made at the Freiburg town of Gruyeres around.

Today, the name Le Gruyère AOC is protected as AOC in Switzerland. Worldwide, the Le Gruyere Switzerland mark is protected. This also protected Signet of the alphorn blower on a snappy cheese loaf belongs to the Swiss Confederation and is protected worldwide, although it is no longer used today. Le Gruyère AOC can be the districts of Courtelary, Moutier and La Neuveville and some Bernese communities adjacent to the Canton of Fribourg prepared, except in the cantons of Fribourg, Vaud, Neuchâtel and Jura. There is also a historically-based exception for certain 17 dairies in German Switzerland.

The " AOC " the Le Gruyère is not recognized in the U.S. and other countries. The name is therefore also used by producers in France, Austria and as " groviera " of producers in Italy. In the U.S., the company also manufactures Roth provides a copy of Gruyere; the major Swiss dairy Emmi is involved in this company.


The loaves of cheese with a diameter of 55 to 65 cm and a thickness of 9.5 to 12 cm between 25 and 40 kg ( average 35 kg ). The bark is slightly greasy - brown, the dough is smooth, medium strength and a little brittle. Fine holes are desirable but not essential. In a longer-aged Gruyère, fine Reifekristallite on the tongue making it perceptible. The fat content is 49 to 53 % in the dry matter.


The Affinage ( maturing) of Gruyere is an important part of the production process. According to specification a cave- like environment is required for the maturation. Ideally, the humidity is 94-98 %. At lower humidity of the cheese dries out, and at a higher bark is greasy and sticky. The temperature is ideally 13 to 14 degrees. But these relatively high temperatures are possible only if the quality of the cheese is very good. Otherwise rather lower temperatures of 10 to 12 degrees are preferred. The deeper the cellar temperature, the harder and more crumbly the cheese.


Gruyere is available in different stages of maturity as well as in organic quality with the bud seal and as Alpine milk variant ( Gruyère d' alpage ). The specification only requires a maturation for at least 5 months. Nevertheless, the following names for the maturity levels have naturalized:

  • Mild / doux: at least 5 months
  • Ripe / tart / salé: at least seven months; partially distinction between mi - salé: 7-8 months
  • Salé: 9-10 months

A special variant is the cave-aged Gruyere, which is stored in a stone cave and due to the humidity naturally present (up 95%) and the low temperature (just above 10 ° C) optimally matured (at least 12 months, including 3 in the dairy and 9 in the cave ).

Le Gruyère Premier Cru

A guaranteed mature Gruyère is the Le Gruyère Premier Cru: He is at least 14 months matured at a humidity of 95 % and a temperature of 13.5 degrees. Another special feature is that the Le Gruyère Premier Cru must be exclusively manufactured and ripened in the Canton of Fribourg.

It is the first cheese that five times - 1992, 2002, 2005, 2012 and 2013 - won the title of best cheese in the world at the World Cheese Awards in London. Also at the World Championship Cheese Contest in the U.S. in 2006 won a gold medal Gruyere, which was produced in the cheese by Franz Jungo in St. Ursus.