The most important etiquette rules on how to serve and eat Gruyère. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest at the dining table.

gruyere cheese

What Gruyère etiquette is

Gruyère etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat Gruyère. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow Gruyère etiquette to serve it to your guests appropriately.

If you are a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat and enjoy it.

What you should know about Gruyère

Gruyère is a hard cheese from Switzerland. It is a typical product from the canton of Fribourg. The other cantons that are allowed to produce it are Berne, Jura, Vaud, and Neuchâtel. 

Gruyère is made from unpasteurized cow’s milk. Its aging time usually varies between 5 and 12 months. It is sweet in taste with salty notes. Its flavor gets more complex with aging. Aging also makes the texture harder and slightly grainy. 

How To Serve And Eat Gruyere. The Top Etiquette Tips.
Best way to serve Gruyere. How to cook it. Gruyere wine and food pairings.

Etiquette tips to serve and eat Gruyère

1) How to store Gruyère

Store Gruyère in the fridge. Unopened, it can last for 1 or 2 months.

After opening it, wrap it in plastic or in aluminum foil. Keep any surface of the cheese protected from the air. Ideally, place the cheese in a sealed container too. Properly stored, Gruyère can last for up to 3 or 4 weeks.

In the freezer, Gruyère can last for about 6 months. However, freezing affects the taste and texture of the cheese. Thus, freeze Gruyère only if you plan to use it for cooking. 

Store dishes with cooked Gruyère in the fridge. They can last for up to 3 to 5 days. 

2) How to clean Gruyère

You do not need to wash Gruyère.

If you notice mold on its surface, slice it and discard the slice that has gone bad. 

3) How to cook Gruyère

Gruyère cheese melts very well. Normally, the younger varieties tend to melt better than the aged ones. Gruyère is one of the most common cheeses in fondues.

You can add Gruyère to many baked recipes. Such as savory pies, quiches, casseroles, or soufflés. 

Melt it on top of burgers, red meat, or cooked vegetables. Such as baked potatoes, asparagus, or tomatoes. You can add it to pasta, risotto, or soup. Younger Gruyère can be added to pizza too.

Gruyère is a popular ingredient for sandwiches. It is often the cheese in the French Croque Monsieur. Finally, you can add it grated to salads. 

4) How to serve & present Gruyère

Serve Gruyère in large slices. Present it with a serving knife to slice it. Alternatively, you can serve it in smaller slices. Do not remove the rind before serving.

Gruyère is best served in a cheese course. After the meal and before the dessert. It is great on a cheese platter. 

Due to its mild taste, it is particularly appropriate as an appetizer too. Accompany it with charcuterie, and bread or crackers.

Serve Gruyère at room temperature. Take it out of the fridge between 30 minutes and 1 hour before serving. 

5) Food and wine to pair Gruyère with

You can pair Gruyère with most meats. Burgers. Red meat. Ham. Veal. Chicken. You can accompany it with charcuterie, such as Prosciutto or Speck. Do not pair it with fish or seafood.

Gruyère goes well with potatoes, shallots, onions, or tomatoes. It combines well with pasta, risotto, soup, or some pizza recipes.

It pairs well with fresh fruit, such as apples, pears, or grapes. With nuts such as pecans. You can serve it with honey, jams, or mustard.

You can pair Gruyère with many beverages. The best pairings are perhaps with crisp, white wines. Riesling. Sauvignon Blanc. Unoaked Chardonnay. Arneis. The ideal red wine pairing is with Pinot Noir. Gruyère pairs well also with Champagne, dark beer, or apple cider.

6) How to eat Gruyère

It is common to discard the rind or skin. Use a knife to remove it.  

Slice Gruyère into bite-sized pieces or cubes. Then, use your fingers to bring the cheese to your mouth. Alternatively, place it on a piece of bread or a cracker. Using a fork is perfectly acceptable too.

Gruyère etiquette mistakes

Gruyère etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. More about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the worst Gruyère etiquette mistakes. 

  • 9/10. Serving spoiled Gruyère.
  • 5/10. Pairing Gruyère with fish or seafood.

Additional information for properly serving Gruyère

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and to correctly plan a menu.

The calories in Gruyère cheese can vary depending on the aging time. On average, Gruyère contains 413 calories per 100 grams. A single serving is a slice of around 28 grams, which contains 116 calories.

How to buy the best Gruyère

A crucial factor in Gruyère etiquette is to serve the best product possible to your guests.

Season and availability 

Gruyère is available all year round. 

Choose the best

The best Gruyère must come from Switzerland. It should have an AOP (appellation d’origine protégée) seal on its packaging. The seal guarantees that the cheese was produced in Switzerland, and that the cheesemakers respected all the quality requirements. 

Alternatives to Gruyère

Valid substitutes include Gouda, Emmental, or Fontina