That’s right: We’re the only grocer in the world selling this cheese.
We bought 30 wheels—that’s 2,000 pounds!—on the spot without ever seeing or tasting this gruyere. We just knew it was going to be fantastic.
Why? While the term d’alpage specifically applies to the grazing area of the cows, in this case, it also means that the cheese is hand-made by a small producer in a small buron high up in the mountains. This produces a strong cheese with a deeper, “funkier” gruyere experience than most others available in the stateside.
The producer? Philippe Pasquier of Le Jeau de Quilles, one of the oldest chalets producing Gruyère d’Alpage. In fact, they are only one of 54 Alpage gruyere makers worldwide who are recognized by the Swiss Cheese Administration for their producing methods. The size of their production is on the small size of average, producing 2 wheels of cheese per day.
But the small amount is well worth it. The 14-month aged cheese is made with 100% raw cow’s milk from the summer cows that walk their way up the Alps, eating all of the flowers and grasses the lush mountainsides have to offer. This highly seasonal gruyere is full of crystalline bits with strong, unique flavors of brown butter and hazelnuts, and an incredibly long finish.