Gruyere

Gruyere cheese is a traditional Swiss cheese without holes, produced in the canton of Friborg (Gruyère district). In 2001, the product received AOC status, which implies strict territorial control of its origin.

Gruyère can only bear the name of cheese produced in the homonymous district in Switzerland. In other cases, the product is prohibited from being sold under this name, it is considered a fake and is prosecuted by the law of the country of origin.

Distinctive features of cheese are a dense, uniform texture, spicy nutty taste.

Depending on the length of aging, the gruère is sweet (5 months), semi-salty (8 months), salty (9 months), premium (1 year), old (one and a half years or more). It is a natural supplier of fat for energy production, proteins - building muscle, bone, cartilage tissues, potassium, magnesium - maintaining heart health, phosphorus, calcium - strengthening, regenerating bones, teeth, nails, hair, sodium - maintaining water balance within normal limits, choline - elimination of edema, normalization of the level of cholesterol. This type of cheese is widely used in national Swiss cuisine for creating fondue and crispy crust on casseroles.

Manufacturing technology

Gruyère originated in the 12th century. It is known that to obtain 1 kg of cheese, 12 liters of "Alpine" cow's milk are required. It is believed that every day masters receive 48 heads of product per bitch.

In 1992, 2002, 2005 Gruyère received the title of the best cheese in the world. Currently, it is referred to the "golden fund" of Swiss cheesemaking.

The head has a cylindrical configuration, reaches 9.5-12 cm in height, 55-65 cm in diameter and weighs 25-40 kg. Cheese body without eyes, firm, yellow color, granular texture. The fat content of the product is 50%.

Le Gruyère AOP owes its excellent quality and unique taste to the unique farming method of production and the careful following of the recipe at every stage, which is strictly controlled by cellar maturators, milk producers and cheese makers.

Preparation of Gruyère cheese:

  1. Selection of high quality cow's milk. To get a first-class product, shepherds carefully monitor the feed of animals. In summer, they feed on alpine grasses, and with the advent of cold weather, greens from local meadows. It is strictly forbidden to introduce food additives into complementary foods for cows. As a result, milk isa valuable nutritious product beneficial to human health.
  2. Curdling. Morning milk is mixed with evening milk, then enzymes based on milk whey are added to the barrel to accelerate its maturation. After a while, rennet starter is introduced into the raw material, which is extracted from the stomachs of calves in order to coagulate the product. Already after 40 minutes, a curdled compact mass (kale) turns from milk in a vat, which is later used to make cheese. It is not boiled during the production process. Thanks to this, it retains the taste of fresh milk.
  3. Cutting and mixing. Calle is crushed with the help of "lira" (large knives) to obtain a curd. After that, the contents of the vat are heated to 57 degrees. On average, this takes about 45 minutes.
  4. Pouring into molds with subsequent marking of goods. When the temperature reaches the required mark, the cheese grain will become like a grain of wheat in size. At the moment, cauliflower and whey, concentrated in a vat, are distilled into round molds on which they put a casein mark, the number of the cheese factory, the inscription "Le Gruyère AOP" and the date of manufacture. Each head is placed for 20 hours under a press weighing 900 kg.
  5. Salt bath. First of all, the cheese heads are freed from oppression, immersed in a solution with a sodium chloride concentration of 22% per day. After 24 hours, they are taken out of the "salt bath" and placed in the cellar of the cheese maker for storage for three months. During this time, a protective crust forms on the surface of the heads.
  6. Maturation in the cellar. After three months, the heads from the cheese factory are lowered into a room where the humidity is maintained at 90% and the temperature regime is in the range of 13-16 degrees above zero. Under these conditions, the product will ripen slowly (within 5-18 months). Cheese care comes down to regular turning and rubbing with saline.

A characteristic feature of Gruyère is the release of the smell of ammonia during maturation.

  1. Quality control. By the fourth month of aging, the cheese heads undergo strict quality control by members of the Interprofession du Gruyère association. The product goes on sale only after 5 months of maturation, provided that it meets the selection criteria.

Interestingly, the gastronomic characteristics of Le Gruyère AOP depend on the aging time of the product. After 6-9 months, the heads emit a delicate unobtrusive aroma, have a delicate taste. Such cheese is classified as "Classique" ("Classic"). With a storage period of up to 10 months or more, Gruyère acquires a rich, complex flavor bouquet, an intense smell, and is called Le Gruyère AOP Réserve (“Reserve”).

Chemical composition

Useful properties of Gruyère depend on its aging period, which starts from 5 months and can reach up to several years. The composition of cheese includes minerals, vitamins, proteins, milk fat, extractives. Interestingly, the concentration of these nutrients in the product is 8-10 times higher than in milk.

Table No. 1 "Nutritional value of Gruyere cheese"
Components Content in 100 g of the product, g
Water 33.19
Fat 32.34
Proteins 29.81
Saturated fatty acids 18.913
Non-essential amino acids 16.785
Essential amino acids 15.831
Monounsaturated fatty acids 10.043
Ash 4.3
Polyunsaturated fatty acids 1.733
Omega-6 1.3
Omega-3 0.433
Carbohydrates 0.36
Sterols 0.11
Table No. 2 "Chemical composition of Gruyere cheese"
Name Nutrient content in 100 g of product, mg
Vitamins
Choline (B4) 15.4
Pantothenic acid (B5) 0.562
Tocopherol (E) 0.28
Riboflavin (B2) 0.279
Retinol (A) 0.268
Niacin (B3) 0.106
Pyridoxine (B6) 0.081
Thiamine (B1) 0.06
Folic acid (B9) 0.01
Phylloquinone (K) 0.0027
Cyanocobalamin (B12) 0.0016
Cholecalciferol (D) ) 0.0006
Macronutrients
Calcium 1011.0
Phosphorus 605.0
Sodium 336.0
Potassium 81.0
Magnesium 36.0
Trace elements ​​
Zinc 3.9
Iron 0.17
Copper 0.032
Manganese 0.017
Selenium 0.0145

To preserve the beneficial properties of the Gruyère, it should be stored on the top shelf of the refrigerator, where it is kept cool. operating mode 5-8 degrees. For maximum benefit, it is pre-warmed under natural conditions before consumption.

Cheese should not be subjected to heat treatment, because under the influence of high temperatures it is melted, which leads to a change and destruction of the protein structure, an increase in the concentration of fat. As a result, after frying, baking, Gruyere is deprived of 60% of mineral compounds and 70% of proteins, B vitamins, which reduces its nutritional value. In addition, it contains bad cholesterol.

The product is not suitable for long-term storage. After opening the sealed package, it is recommended to eat it within 5-7 days.

Remember, for good digestion, cheese should not be combined with meat, since the former contains phosphorus, and the latter zinc. When used simultaneously, both nutrients are involved in metabolic reactions. As a result, phosphorus slows down and partially prevents the complete absorption of zinc. The minimum interval between taking these products is 2 hours.

Benefits and harms

Hard cheese is a source of valuable probiotic crops, easily digestible protein, amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins A, B, D, E, K, PP, macro and micro elements.

Influence on the body:

  1. Slows down the aging process of the immune system, as a result, the body's resistance to infections, cancer cells increases, and the reaction to vaccines is accelerated.
  2. Improves memory, digestive tract, metabolic processes.
  3. Helps to overcome depression, insomnia, calms the nervous system.
  4. Gives strength and energy.
  5. Strengthens bones, maintains healthy teeth,joints, resists the appearance of caries, ensures normal muscle performance, reduces the risk of osteoporosis.
  6. Increases blood pressure (useful for hypotensive patients).
  7. Increases hemoglobin levels.

Swiss Gruyere cheese is a product with high nutritional value (413 kcal per 100 g). It is useful in that it protects bone tissue from fractures, allows you to quickly replenish calories burned. It should be used by nursing mothers, pregnant women, people involved in physical labor, children and the elderly. In addition, the product is of particular value to smokers, whose body loses the ability to absorb calcium due to the influence of nicotine. Swiss cheese helps alleviate some of the problem by supplying a large amount of the macronutrient.

Despite the beneficial properties of Gruyère, it is contraindicated in the following diseases: acute / chronic pyelonephritis, gastritis with high acidity, colitis, arterial hypertension, urolithiasis, cardiac edema, allergies to sour-milk products. In addition, cheese is excluded from the diet of overweight people suffering from obesity, because due to its high calorie content, it can stimulate weight gain.

Culinary uses

Gruyère is used in European cuisine for making spaghetti, salads, sauces, casseroles, sandwiches, fondues, onion soup and pastries (muffins, cookies). The cheese has a specific sweet-salty taste, dominated by notes of dried fruits and nuts. With age, the gastronomic bouquet becomes more tart. Due to its delicate taste, the young "classic" Gruyère goes well with fruity red wines.

What can replace the product?

Italian Pecorino cheese, Parmesan, Grana Podano, English Cheddar or Norwegian Yalsberg.

Contrary to popular belief, Swiss Emmental is not recommended as an alternative because it does not have a distinct taste.

Traditionally, Gruyère is used to prepare the national dish of Swiss cuisine - fondue, which is a melted cheese mixture with the addition of strong kirsch, garlic, nutmeg. It is made in a heat-resistant dish (kaquelon) over an open fire. During the meal, pieces of gherkins, olives, bread and potatoes are planted on long forks and dipped in the resulting mass.

Fondue recipe

Ingredients:

  • dry white wine - 200 ml;
  • Gruyere cheese - 250 g;
  • vodka (kirsch)- 30 ml;
  • Emmental cheese - 250 g;
  • lemon juice - 5 ml;
  • corn flour - 30 g;
  • garlic - 1 clove;
  • nutmeg and ground white pepper - to taste.

Cooking principle:

  1. Grate the fondue bowl with garlic, add lemon juice and wine followed by heating sweep to a hot state.
  2. Grate the cheese, add to the prepared base. Stir the mixture occasionally with a wooden spatula. This will prevent Gruyère and Emmental from curling up, and the mass will turn out without lumps.
  3. Mix vodka with flour until a homogeneous mass of a mushy state is obtained. Add to melted cheese. Hold the dish on fire for three minutes.
  4. Season with white pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, do not boil.

Finished fondue is smooth, hot and fatty.

Remember, according to the traditional recipe, the cheese dish is made with Swiss Gruyère cheese and Friborg Vacheran or Emmental. The main condition is to take products in equal parts, follow the sequence of laying products. To prevent the contents of the caquelon from sticking to the walls of the pot during cooking, use a container with a non-stick coating. If the mixture turned out to be too thick, it is diluted with wine (kirsch), liquid - potato starch or cheese is introduced into the composition.

To keep the dish hot, a gas heater or a candle is placed under the legs of the dish.

Conclusion

Gruyere is a truly versatile product that can decorate and diversify almost any dish. It is a boiled pressed cheese with a delicate sweet-salty taste and a nutty tint. It is widely used in cooking to create casseroles, muffins, pies, soups, main courses and soufflés. However, fondue is considered a traditional dish made from Gruyère. It is served with semi-dry types of Riesling. The sweet and sour taste of German alcohol well sets off the nutty shades of Swiss cheese. In other cases, Gruyere is served on a cheese plate with calm whites (Flsare Tikay Pinot Gri, Chablis) or fruity red wines (Mercurey, Beaujolais, Chinon, Pinot Noir). At the same time, mature varieties are harmoniously combined with aged champagne.

Gruyere contains all the valuable components of milk: fat, protein, mineral salts, vitamins A, E, B, K, D, which are especially important for tuberculosis patients, pregnant women, lactating women, children and people with bone damage. Cheese is completely absorbed by the human body. It calms, relieves stress, normalizes blood pressure, relieves insomnia,prevents the appearance of caries, strengthens the immune system, supplies energy, stimulates appetite, normalizes the intestinal microflora, improves brain function.

It is recommended to eat 100-150 g of Gruyère daily. Due to the abundance of fats in the composition, it should be consumed exclusively for breakfast or lunch, since the body will spend a lot of energy to digest the product in the evening (for dinner), extracting unnecessary energy before bedtime. As a result, this may appear on the figure in the form of weight gain. Thus, to boost energy, cheeses and other nutritious foods (protein foods) are eaten exclusively until 14-00. In the evening, you should give preference to easily digestible, dietary dishes.