Making cheese has never been an easily regulated, scientific process. Quality cheese is often the sign of an experienced, and perhaps a very lucky cheese maker determined to make flavorful cheese. Although following analytical tests of cheese characteristics may produce a good cheese, traditional cheese making has always been an endeavor of luck.
Developing a certain set of standards for cheese can be difficult because every kind has its own distinct range of characteristics, and a cheese that fairs too far from this range will taste bad and be inferior. For example, a good soft blue cheese is high in moisture and high in pH, but cheddar is not.
Regulations exist in order to assure the consumer that the cheese he will purchase is authentic. France, one of the pioneers in making natural cheeses, started granting certain regions monopolies on the production of certain kinds of cheeses. And because cheese is made for human consumption, extreme care is taken to make sure that the raw materials are of the highest quality, all the more if the cheese is intended for export – it must meet particularly stringent quality control standards.
The Appellation of Controlled Origin or appellation d’origine controlee is a label that indicates that an agricultural product is from a specific region, maintaining a certain set of standards local to that region. Consequently, food from a certain region must also be produced in a particular way in order to qualify for an appellation of controlled origin – there are national inspectors that visit and make sure that food producers comply with the given standards.
Not all products bear the appellation of controlled origin label. Qualifying for such a label means that the government feels that the raw materials from which the food is made is of high production quality. This label has been established so that consumers will be assured that the foods they buy are not cheap counterfeit of knockoff versions.
Cheeses and wines are most often labeled with an appellation of controlled origin, and one particular type of cheese that bears this distinct mark is the Gruyere cheese. Gruyere cheese is a creamy, pale cheese with small holes and a slightly granular texture. Unlike other Swiss cheese, the holes of the Gruyere cheese rarely gets bigger than the size of a pea, with the holes widely dispersed within the cheese. Its flavor is very different from other Swiss cheeses, but is not too strong or overpowering. That is why, the Gruyere cheese makes a great complement to quiches, soups, salads, and pastas. You can have it sliced or grated, depending on your desired effect.
Next time you feel like throwing a cheese and wine party, look for the kind of cheese that passes production and state standards. You would not want to serve your guests run of the mill cheese, right?. So check for the appellation of controlled origin seal. Order Gruyere cheese today!Bookmark & Share