Swiss Cheese vs Gruyere Cheese: Everything You Need To Know
Cheese is a staple ingredient in a lot of our favorite dishes. From our indulging mac-n-cheese, pizza, and grilled cheese to our creamy dessert, cheese can be added to any dish and has the ability to make anything much tastier and more satisfying.
Since it is everyone’s favorite ingredient, it is always good to know more about cheese. Learning about the taste and texture of each type can help you make better dishes with cheese and enjoy cheese more properly. In this article, we will examine the difference between two very similar kinds of cheese: Swiss cheese vs Gruyere cheese to make you an expert about these types of cheese.
What Is Swiss Cheese?
The name might make you think that this cheese comes straight from Switzerland, yet, this is not the case at all. Actually, this American cheese is called Swiss cheese because it is inspired by Emmental, the cheese that truly comes from Switzerland.
Both Swiss cheese and its inspiration have holes and a mild flavor. Yet, while Emmental cheese is famous for being made from raw cow milk in the traditional cheese-making method, American Swiss cheese can be either artisanal or mass-produced using pasteurized milk.
In the U.S., Swiss cheese comes in two different forms: Lacy and Baby Swiss. You should try out both of them to decide which type of Swiss cheese you like better.
What Is Gruyere Cheese?
Unlike American Swiss cheeses, Gruyere cheese does come from the region Gruyere of Switzerland. It has a long heritage and history. Its trademark name and its traditional quality are protected by Switzerland and the European Union. In Gruyere, these cheeses are produced from raw milk and are left to age for a minimum of five months before consumption.
Today, Gruyere only produces 520 tons of Gruyere cheese each year in the 30,000 tons produced and consumed worldwide. Many countries outside of Switzerland now produce Gruyere-styled cheese and call them Gruyere cheese.
If you wonder how this cheese keeps its long tradition since the 12th century, you can find out more in this video:
Swiss Cheese Vs Gruyere Cheese: Comparison In Detail
The color of both Swiss cheese and Gruyere cheese can range from ivory to pale yellow.
While Gruyere cheese has no holes, Swiss cheese inherits the iconic holes from its inspiration but usually comes in a smaller size compared to Emmental cheese.
Gruyere has a tough, thin, brownish rind that results from its production process as a distinctive characteristic.
As it is pressed during the production process, both Swiss cheese and Gruyere cheese are hard, smooth, firm, and do not crumble easily. Both have the perfect texture for melting and turning soft and oozy without becoming greasy or rubbery.
American Swiss cheese is firmer than Emmental cheese.
Both have a mild, nutty, and slightly sweet taste. Time can intensify the flavor of both Swiss cheese and Gruyere cheese.
Compared to Gruyere cheese and its origin Emmental cheeses, American Swiss cheese is blander, milder, and has an acrid flavor. Meanwhile, Gruyere has a more nutty and flavorful taste.
Both have the same fat content (around 9 grams per ounce). Gruyere has slightly higher protein, calcium, and potassium content. However, the sodium level in an ounce of Swiss cheese can double that of Gruyere cheese.
Their similarity means they can be used interchangeably. You can make anything you want with these types of cheese. Try them with your pasta, burger, and baked goods. Either will be able to satisfy you.
Which Is Better: Swiss Cheese Or Gruyere Cheese?
Gruyere cheese is usually considered a higher-quality cheese because it has a better flavor profile. Many think that American Swiss cheese can taste a little bit plastic and acrid due to its mass-production process.
Yet, if you get your Swiss from an artisan, it tastes much better than the commercial one that is sold in the supermarket.
Now you have everything you need to know to distinguish between these two similar kinds of cheese. At the end of the day, it is up to you and your taste bud to decide which one is better, so you should try both to find out which cheese you like more. Enjoy your cheese!