I have a-slightly-obsessive personality. It takes a while to get on my radar, but once my little eye-and mouth-has settled on something it’s a done deal. I am speaking here of Gruyere. Yesterday I sampled my first real Gruyere-not supermarket crap-and I just can’t get it out of my mind. Driving my child to school: Gruyere. Going for a run: Gruyere. Taking the car to the shop: Gruyere. Thus, imagine my great joy and surprise to note that I had another Gruyere to sample today!
Well, I think I spoke at length yesterday about what Gruyere is (awesome) and why you should eat it (because it’s the best), and also a huge warning (the name isn’t protected unless it says AOC so you could be eating some processed fake gruyere so BE CAREFUL). Also, if it’s real Gruyere there are all sorts of fabulous rules about how it’s made including copper kettles and caves lined with unplanned specific types of wood. As well, whatever small difference there is between the creation of Gruyere and it’s almost twin, Emmenthaler makes a huge difference in that I actually DESPISE Emmenthaler and never want to taste it again, where as I wold gladly roll naked in Gruyere (that’s another blog post.)
This type of Gruyere, Gruyere Etivaz AOC states (on its label) that it is a raw milk unpasteurized cheese from Switzerland (we know that), but further, “this is basically 19th century Gruyere, made by a group of 76 devoted families who felt that the government regulations were allowing cheese makers to compromise the qualities that made god Gruyere so special. It may be made only when the cows are doing their summer alpine grazing. It must be made in traditional copper cauldrons and only over old style open wood fires.” Super hard core-I love it! These are Gruyere purists, and I take my hat off to them .
My tiny (too small, I’m sad) slice of Gruyere Etivaz smells so strongly that I can actually smell it through the wrapper, which is a first for the Mountain Cheeses. It’s beckoning me to eat it. It is so pretty, so creamy with brown rind. I am weak. Now I’m really smelling it up close, mmm, not rotten smelling, but very pungent, very cheese-licious.
Very salty-that’s my first hit-yummy, true, but SO SALTY. The texture is divine-of course, nice paste that melts quickly, but holy hannah, the salt. My step dad just loves salt and over salts everything, once I bit into his salad by mistake and just recoiled at the extra salt-that’s what is happening here. I was so jacked up to eat this cheese, but the overwhelming salt is kind of freaking me out. It also lacks the tyrosine crunchy protein crystals of yesterday’s cave aged Gruyere-that makes me sad, I was so looking forward to my tyrosine crystals.
let’s try it melted…wow, the melted texture is just PERFECT, exactly what you would pray for-if you were the type to pray for cheese (like me), and the flavour-toothsome, mushroomy, loamy, yummy-but: utterly too salty for my taste buds.
Gruyere Etivaz AOC-you get a 4 out of 5 which includes a deduction for extra salt. I would go for the Cave Aged Gruyere if choosing between the two delicious sister cheeses.