The 5 Best Gruyère Cheese Substitutes

Chris Starks
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Gruyère Substitutes

Gruyère cheese is a very popular Swiss cheese that is typically used in gratins, as well as fondues. Though it sometimes comes in a block that needs to be shaved, you can use it to make frittatas or a classic fondue.

Aged for a minimum of one year, Gruyère cheese is famous for its sweet flavor, nutty aroma, and creamy texture. It can easily be grated and melted into gratins or fondues, perfect for flavor-basted dishes.

The secret to this cheese’s distinct flavor is in the process used to make it. The wheels are aged in several stages, giving it a complex, nutty flavor. In 2001, Gruyère became an AOP (appellation d’origine protégée – A Swiss legal framework protecting the origin and quality of traditional culinary specialties that people can only produce in certain areas).

But what to do when a recipe asks for Gruyère cheese, whether it is not available or too expensive? If you’ve recently discovered that your local cheese vendor doesn’t carry it, you have several alternatives available to you, including those listed below.

Beaufort Cheese

If you want a cheese that offers a similar flavor to Gruyère, Beaufort cheese is a great option. While not as popular as Gruyère, it can serve as a delicious Gruyère cheese alternative. Beaufort cheese is an Alpine cheese first produced in Switzerland and known for its bold butterscotch flavor.

The flavor of Gruyère comes from the wide range of bacteria that forms the natural rind on the outside of the cheese. That rind also gives Gruyère its characteristic crunch.
This is where Beaufort cheese shines. Its rind is also created by those lactic bacteria, which gives the cheese a similar texture to Gruyère.

Since Beaufort cheese is a hard-washed-rind style of cheese, it is a bit more well-aged than Gruyère. Because of that, it has a more robust flavor and an aroma that’s reminiscent of sour cream. The texture of Beaufort cheese is also firmer than Gruyère, which is why many people prefer to substitute Gruyère cheese with Beaufort. Where Gruyère is more of an indulgence, Beaufort cheese is a real treat.

Jarlsberg Cheese

Jarlsberg is Norwegian and Swedish in origin. It is similar to Swiss Gruyere but is considered to be milder, softer, and slightly sweeter. Jarlsberg is made with a blend of natural cow's milk and cow's milk serum. It also contains a special enzyme called plasmin to help soften the cheese.

What's excellent about Jarlsberg is that it has a lovely creamy texture with lots of flavors. It will melt in your mouth, creating a mild and smooth melted cheese. It also melts well for use in grilled cheese sandwiches.

Raclette Cheese

Raclette refers to both the type of cheese and the traditional Swiss dish it is served with. Raclette is a semi-hard cheese, sharing characteristics of both Swiss kinds of cheese (Emmental and Gruyere) and French cheeses (Mimolette).

When melted, it has a very mild, sweet flavor and a deeply satisfying, salty accent. It has a relatively mild taste yet melts very easily and is significantly less sharp than its cousin, Gruyere.

It makes a great substitute for Gruyere Cheese and is a popular choice for many cheese lovers. Raclette Cheese is produced in the French-speaking region of Switzerland, but the name is French. The cheese was originally an Alpine cheese made from cow's milk in the valley of the Châtelard in the canton of Valais, where people used it for melting.

Due to the Alpine tradition of cheese in the valley. The imported cheese must be made of unpasteurized milk and be at least an 18-month old smelly runny cheese.
The entire cheese is reasonably soft and must be eaten immediately or just slightly cooled. The cheese will not melt the way cheddar does.

Emmental Cheese

Like Gruyère cheese, Emmental cheese is a hard cheese with a nutty, fruity, and sweet flavor. It tastes like a Gruyère cheese and can be used as a cheese replacement. Although Emmental, Emmentaler, or Emmenthal is traditionally made in Switzerland, it is now made in other countries like the United States.

The cheese comes in 1/2 pound blocks, and it has a white and yellow color when it's young yet turns a grayish-yellow when it ages. Finally, it has a shiny, firm texture. So, if you want to experience those characteristics in your dishes, consider this cheese replacement as an ingredient. Furthermore, Emmental cheese can be found in some everyday dishes from around the world like fondue, raclette, sandwiches, and fries, so if you want to try this cheese out, have a try in one of these dishes.

Appenzeller Cheese

Found in the Appenzellerland region of northeast Switzerland, this Swiss cheese comes in big wheels with a light brown rind and is easy to find at most cheese shops. However, it’s more expensive than Gruyère. It’s often grated on top of pizza or added to recipes and also served with salads. Mature wheels can have a strong, pungent aroma, but the taste is sharp and acidic when appropriately aged.

Final Verdict

There is a cheese called Gruyère that is quite expensive and only available in certain stores. Gruyère cheese is in high demand lately, and there is an extreme demand for supply. People used this Cheese on Mac and cheese, and some people highly preferred it over all the other cheeses. The demand for this cheese has increased by 29 percent since 2009.

It is said that the real Gruyère cheese creates an organic orange glow when you have it in your fridge. It is also said that people first produced the cheese in Switzerland. But you can have a couple of substitutes for Gruyère cheese, imparting similar great taste and texture to your most favorite dishes.