The famous French Gruyère – not to be confused with its Swiss counterpart – has been produced in the Franche Comté and Rhône Alpes regions since the 13th century. The word “Gruyère” is derived from Gruyer officers, an institution of tax collectors founded by Charlemagne; in the territories that would later become France and Switzerland, taxes were sometimes collected in the form of cheeses. Today, near Annecy, there is still a village named “Gruyères”; and there is another in Switzerland named “Gruyère”. French Gruyère can be recognized by the slight bulge of its surface and the presence of small eyes in the paste. A yellow casein plaque applied to the edge of the wheel assures its traceability. The cheese is generally matured for six to twelve months.


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