Textbook definition: "Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming more assertive, earthy, and complex as it matures. When fully aged (five months to a year) it tends to have small cracks that impart a slightly grainy texture."
And this is what we know about it: Gruyere is a raw whole milk cheese that has a "swiss cheese" flavor. It has a hand washed rind that slowly develops over 90 days, literally as we wash it by hand with a salt water mix. The temperature that it ages at is a 2 step process, and is checked daily to ensure it's developing properly, and not cracking. It's a messy cheese to make with very very hot curds taken from the vat and poured directly into molds where it it pressed, then removed to age (which is when the washing of the rind starts). While it is aging it starts to develop the "eyes" or the smaller swiss cheese like holes. And when it's finally ready, timewise, to cut, you get to taste and experience a flavor that is truly unlike any other.
Gruyere is a good melting cheese. It is also traditionally used in French onion soup, as well as a classic toasted ham and cheese sandwich. It is a fine table cheese, and when grated, it is often used with salads and pastas.
Farm Life Creamery Gruyere is an amazing "American Gruyere" and a choice you won't find locally very often. If you're up for a new experience, give it a try! We cut our Gruyere wheels into approx. 1/2 lb wedges for $8.