Gruyère is sweet but slightly salty, with a flavour that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming with age more assertive, earthy, and complex. When fully aged (five months to a year) it tends to have small holes and cracks which impart a slightly grainy mouthfeel. To make an 80 kg round of Gruyère cheese, about 800 litres of milk are used.
Gruyère is generally known as one of the finest cheeses for baking, having a distinctive but not overpowering taste. In quiche, Gruyère adds savouriness without overshadowing the other ingredients. It is a good melting cheese, so particularly suited for fondues, along with Vacherin and Emmental. It is also traditionally used in French onion soup, as well as in Croque Monsieur, a classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich. It is a fine table cheese, and when grated, it is often used with salads and pastas. It is used, grated, atop Le Tourin, a type of garlic soup from France which is served on dried bread.
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