Milk: Raw cow's milk
Animal breed: Red Holstein, Montbeliarde
Size of cheese: 60cm
Location: Canton de Vaud, Switzerland
Season: Year round
Gruyère is a French/Swiss dialectal word meaning a copse or a small wood. The term lends its name to a family of cheeses because the fuel from these woods was employed to light fires under the vats of milk that were being turned to cheese in the local chalets. A huge number of different recipes fall within this family of cheese, but none so bombastic & impactful as Gruyère du Jura Suisse.
We select cheeses from two producers in the Jura mountains bordering France in the west of Switzerland. Both work on a small scale compared to many Gruyère producers, making something in the region of 20 cheeses a day, and we find that both produce cheeses with a particularly fine, moist paste. The cheeses journey from produce to maturer, where an old military fort between Fribourg and Vaud has been transformed into a maturing house, before making their way to our maturing rooms in Bermondsey for their final weeks. Gruyère du Jura Suisse is an all rounder, equally at home on a cheeseboard or in a sandwich, as well as being a brilliant melting cheese. We tend to sell wheels at between 18 and 20 months, when we find that the flavours have boldness and breadth, whilst maintaining a smooth texture.