Cave-Aged Gruyere

This cheese is like that boy your moth­er wants you to marry—safe, reli­able, a lit­tle bit pre­dictable. you know it's always going to treat you right. you hold the idea of it in reserve like an extra ace tucked away. when you've been burned by flashier, sex­i­er, more excit­ing cheeses—what a good idea bres­cianel­la seemed like at the time!—cave-aged gruyere is there to pick you up the morn­ing after. it doesn't ask ques­tions, doesn't press its agen­da, it's just there, sol­id and depend­able. it knows the tor­toise always wins the race in the end.

3 replies on “Cave-Aged Gruyere”

anoth­er way to think about the cave-aged gruyere is that the swiss stash it in a cave (the cheese world equiv­a­lent of a num­bered bank account?) and just keep it there until it's ready. cave-aged gruyere is secure; it's a cheese for the pru­dent and the secre­tive. it's also pos­si­ble to eat it in a mar­velous­ly effi­cient man­ner. one, two, three, four bites and it's gone.

it's also real­ly good on toast­ed wal­nut bread with some pro­sciut­to. that's what i had for din­ner last night and that's what i'm hav­ing again tonight.

I've had this cheese a cou­ple of times, and both times I felt like it was the kind of the cheese that you just don't eat around oth­er peo­ple. There's some­thing very intense about it, some­thing that demands your full atten­tion. I con­trast this with, say, Neal's Yard Ched­dar, which is a very social cheese, a cheese that begs to be shared with oth­ers, to be talked about. Neal's Yard reminds me of a dog that wan­ders in between peo­ple hav­ing a con­ver­sa­tion; talk about me! Say my name! Be affec­tion­ate! But cave-aged gruyere is like a mys­te­ri­ous, allur­ing stranger that you meet in a night­club. And the stranger is shroud­ed, like Ste­vie Nicks in the 70s, and she is wear­ing a turtle­neck, and you think to your­self: "Is she wear­ing a turtle­neck to hide some­thing. Does she have, say, a tat­too on her neck?" But you are curi­ous, and you pur­sue it, but you nev­er, nev­er tell your friends. Nev­er. Like when you eat cave-aged gruyere.

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