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Old 10-18-2008, 09:30 PM   #11
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Gruyère IS Swiss Cheese.
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Old 10-19-2008, 09:43 AM   #12
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"Gruyere" IS a variety of cheese from "Switzerland" - thus can be considered "Swiss". But if you want to sit down & do a taste comparison between "Gruyere" & other cheeses normally considered "Swiss" type - "Emmanthal" & "Jarlsberg", for instance - you'll find that "Gruyere" is completely different. I don't find it automatically interchangeable with what's normally called "Swiss Cheese".
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:12 AM   #13
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Funny this should be brought up, because i just got back from the store and I bought Gruyere and swiss cheese so I could do a 50/50 on my onion soup. As I was unpacking the cheeses, I looked at the packages and both said swiss. My first reaction was Oh crap, I must have grabbed the wrong one, but then i flipped the package over, and the other side said Gruyere. So, I did the taste test, just to make sure I wasnt doing a 50/50 of the same thing. Sure, there was an obvious difference, and yes, both from switzerland too.
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Old 10-19-2008, 10:32 AM   #14
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Yup - the only things "Gruyere" & "Swiss Cheese" have in common is that they both originated in Switzerland. That's it.
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Old 10-19-2008, 11:27 AM   #15
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Dry Sherry here.
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:08 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BreezyCooking View Post
Yup - the only things "Gruyere" & "Swiss Cheese" have in common is that they both originated in Switzerland. That's it.
Sorry, but Gruyère is still Swiss Cheese. So is Emmental, and a whole bunch of other cheeses that are made in the same style, IN Switzerland. Each town (which is what Gruyère and Emmental are) names its unique cheese after itself. That which is called just "Swiss Cheese," contains milk from cows from anywhere in the country. Thus, the generic term. But they are all TRUE Swiss cheeses. The difference in flavors comes from the different things the cows eat at whatever time of year the milk for the cheese comes from, and the unique flavors of the microareas they are from, not to mention how long the cheese is aged, and whether or not the milk for the cheese has been pasteurized.

(Kinda like wine from Napa Valley is from California, and so is California Table Wine, but the grapes used in Napa Valley wine must come from the region known as Napa Valley.)
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Old 10-19-2008, 04:17 PM   #17
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Whatever, June. I'm not going to get into a sidetracked argument with you over cheese-origin semantics - lol! We're talking about topping French Onion Soup here.

The fact remains that "Gruyere" has a taste all it's own, & tastes completely different from other "Swiss" cheeses. Thus the two can be mixed to top French Onion Soup without fear of just duplicating identical-tasting cheeses. And that's really the only thing that has any bearing on this thread.
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Old 10-19-2008, 06:25 PM   #18
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Pretty much anywhere in the USA, if you walk into a deli and ask for a quarter pound of Swiss cheese, you're going to get Emmentaler. One place in a hundred you will be asked what kind of Swiss.

I use a Julia Child recipe for French onion soup gratinee and it specifically calls for Gruyere and white wine. In earlier threads, on this subject I discovered Breezy's recipe from Julia is different from the one I have. Just goes to show Julia wasn't afraid to change things around from time to time.
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Old 10-19-2008, 07:10 PM   #19
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Ok, so im reading the gruyere/ swiss cheese debate here to my wife. Aside from calling me fight starter ( since my threads seam to end up in debate), she brought up a good point. If it is FRENCH onion soup, why is the cheese placed on top from Switzerland ??? Honestly, I would have thought Gruyere cheese was French until this thread. Any thoughts ??
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Old 10-19-2008, 08:18 PM   #20
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You're right AndyM. It's extremely doubtful that a shop (unless it's a bonafide cheese shop or cheese counter in an upscale market) will ask you ahead of time if you want Gruyere or Jarlsberg if you ask for Swiss - lol!! In fact, I've never had a cheese shop even consider Gruyere in the request. If you want Gruyere, you have to ask for Gruyere.

And yes, Julia had more than one recipe for French Onion Soup, & the one in "The Way To Cook" is by far my favorite. In fact, "The Way To Cook" is my favorite "Julia" cookbook for pretty much everything. I've been using her steam-roasted goose recipe for my Xmas goose since the day "The Way To Cook" hit the bookstores. I use it so often it's literally falling to pieces & I currently have it taped together - lol!

As far as why Gruyere, Swiss, & Parmesan are such popular toppings for French Onion Soup, I have no answer except that they meld so beautifully with the stock, onions, wine, & cognac. The French have never had problems with borrowing high-quality ingredients from other cultures.
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