Gruyère (1655 Le Cret)
This authentic Gruyère AOP from Switzerland 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 2,950 feet 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 15 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 the "La Gruyère" region. 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 launched the ‘1655’ brand of Gruyère AOP. To qualify for the 1655 brand, a dairy’s cheeses are rigorously tested monthly by team of external experts (one representative of the AOP organization, one representative of the Gruyère master cheesemaker association, and one representative of the Gruyère affineurs association) at four months of age. They’re graded according to condition, taste, texture, consistency, form and condition on a scale up to 20 points. Gruyère AOP Le Crêt has a five-year average of 19.67 points and is one of only three dairies to meet the 1655 criteria.
Gruyère AOP 1655 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 water from the Les Diablerets glacier.
Gruyère AOP 1655 from Le Crêt is aged at least 12 months. 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.