Gruyere (1655 Le Cret)
This authentic Swiss Gruyère is a product of a partnership between Fromagerie Le Crêt and affineur Fromage Gruyère SA.
Master Cheesemaker Jean-Marie Dunand runs the village dairy at 3,000 ft above sea level in the heartland of traditional Gruyère production in the Fribourg region of Switzerland. The dairy, which dates back to 1900, has been run by Dunand since 1986. He makes 18-20 wheels of Gruyère each day, 365 days a year, using freshly delivered milk from eight small local farms. The cows graze on mountain pasture, and the unique composition of the grass is reflected in the cheese.
After wheels have been aged for three months at Le Crêt, Fromage Gruyère SA brings them to their caves 10 km away to continue the affinage.
Fromage Gruyère was founded in 1916 as a public affineur to sustain the production of Gruyère in its traditional production zone. Today the company, led by Gérald Roux, is the only affineur still located in this zone. They’re responsible for aging Gruyères from 30 small village dairies and 18 alpages (high mountain dairies).
To distinguish the highest-quality cheeses, Roux and his team have developed the ‘1655’ line of Gruyères. To qualify for the 1655 label, a dairy’s cheeses are rigorously tested by an expert team (a farmer, a master cheesemaker and a master affineur) at three months of age. They’re graded according to condition, taste, texture and consistency on a scale up to 20 points. Le Crêt’s Gruyères have a 5-year average of 19.5 points and are one of only three dairies to meet the 1655 criteria.
1655 Gruyère producers exclusively use Sel des Alpes in production--a pure salt from a 200 million year old source that's been continually rinsed out with glacial water.
Gruyère 1655 from Le Crêt is aged at least one year. Its paste is the color of butterscotch, and its texture is firm, dense and slightly flaky.
Flavor is a complex balance of sweetness and salt, under which one can detect a nutty, caramel taste with notes of mushrooms, hay, earth and fruit.