Tasting the Real, Artisan Gruyere ...

Just ordered a wedge of Rolf Beeler Gruyere. Beeler is the renowned Swiss Affineur who ages, ripens and matures Swiss cheeses to perfection. When that Fed Ex pkg arrived, I was like a 5 year old on Christmas morning!

Seriously, I opened the box to find a little white paper pkg with the Artisanal Cheese seal. As I unwrapped the paper I sniffed the unmistakeable aroma of Gruyere. Then my taste buds began to squeak in anticipation. But I had to leave the wedge unwrapped on the counter for a while - until it reached proper room temperature. Sniff but not taste. Agony.

Finally, I cut off just a small piece and put it on my tongue. Absolutely divine! I bit into it and could hear and feel the slightly crystalline crunch of a really perfect Gruyere. It began to dissolve in my mouth. My taste buds were working overtime and shouting out their delight. Nutty, slightly sweet, with some mushroom-like undertones. If you love Gruyere, this is the specific cheese you will want to order as a special treat.

Although Gruyere is frequently used in fondue, I frankly would not use this pricey bit of Cheese Heaven in that way. It's perfect simply on its own, with some walnuts, slices of apple or pear and a glass of a Rhone Syrah, Zinfandel or, even Champagne. Go for it, and let me know what you think!

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