Nature and man: essential ingredients in making Gruyère AOP

 

  • Milk Open or Close

    Gruyère AOP is produced in western Switzerland. Switzerland is a small island of greenery in the middle of Europe, where milk producers have an average of 26 cows. Thanks to this small scale, a relationship is created with the cows. Each one is called by its first name, such as Marguerite, Heidi or Cerise. Every day, the producer observes his herd in its natural environment. “Natural” is the central concept of milk. For Gruyère AOP, no silage or GMO feed is permitted. The cows’ feed comes from fresh grass in summer and from hay or second growth of grass in winter, with no additives whatsoever.

    Twice a day, morning and evening, every day of the year, he milks his cows. Twice a day, immediately after milking, he takes the fresh milk to the same dairy. The dairies are mostly in the very heart of the village. Both producer and cheese-maker know each other well and only a few kilometres separate the dairy from the farms. The milk that links them is a fragile foodstuff, which requires the greatest of care.

  • The cheese Open or Close

    Every morning, the cheese-maker transforms the milk into Gruyère AOP. He makes it every day of the year, without exception. There is one production per day. He repeats the same traditional actions. The Gruyère AOP cheese-makers are craftsmen. They witness the entire transformation process from milk to curds. The cheese-maker decides when the curds are ready to be taken out of the vat and put in the moulds. The cheese-maker’s eye plays an integral role in the making of the entirely additive-free Gruyère AOP.

  • Affinage / Ripening Open or Close

    When the Gruyère AOP wheels are three months old, the wheels are taken to the ripening cellars. Fromage Gruyère Ltd. maintains close contact with its cheese-makers. This dialogue is an integral part of the collaboration. Once in the cellars belonging to Fromage Gruyère Ltd., the wheels will not leave this environment until they go to market. The master-affineur then comes on the scene.

    Man and nature: essential ingredients for making Gruyère AOP.