For a cheese named after a quiet little town in Switzerland, Gruyere has caused quite a controversy in recent years. Much has been made of whether Gruyere really is that different to several French cheeses such as Comte and Beaufort.
Swiss Gruyere is a traditional, creamy, semi-soft cheese made from unpasteurised milk that is heated, pressed, salted in brine and then slowly ripened at room temperature for as long as two months. Its rind is a hard rusty brown, pitted with tiny holes, while the cheese is dense, compact and honey yellow. The flavour is both complex and subtle. At first slightly sweet and fruity and then earthy and more assertive as it ages.
Gruyere is also the finest of all cooking cheeses, being an essential ingredient in classic dishes such as Fondue, French Onion Soup, Quiche and Croque-Monsieur and it pairs beautifully with crisp fruity Rieslings. If by chance you have any left over from your cooking, carefully wrap it first in waxy parchment then plastic wrap and store in the fridge.