That Gruyère is Too Rich for My Pocket
August 13, 2009 11:50 AM   Subscribe

I made this casserole last night for dinner, and it was quite tasty. I'd like to add it into my regular rotation of suppers, but the gruyère cheese is kind of expensive at my local market. Can you suggest a more pedestrian cheese I can use instead? I guess it would have to be something that was similar in hardness/melting point. (Similarity in taste would be nice, but I realize with supermarket cheeses I can't have everything).

Also, any suggestions of places to get gruyère cheese at a cheaper price would be helpful (and quinoa for that matter -- although I think if I buy in bulk it shouldn't matter that much).
posted by bluefly to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
a hard generic swiss you enjoy should be fine.
posted by peachfuzz at 11:52 AM on August 13, 2009

A standard Swiss cheese should work.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:52 AM on August 13, 2009

Monterey Jack is a widely available inexpensive cheese which is mild enough to work in many subtly flavored casseroles, and it melts and blends much better than Swiss.
posted by Miko at 11:54 AM on August 13, 2009

That recipe does look good! I've substituted for gruyere with cheddar when making gratin dauphinois before for the same reason, and it comes out just fine. You'd probably be find with mozzarella, too. Why not try it once with any cheeses you might acquire for other recipes and see what you prefer in terms of flavor, as I think pretty much any mild, meltable cheese would work.
posted by hazyjane at 12:07 PM on August 13, 2009

Swiss! Emmenthal! Alternatively, you could look at the gruyere prices at Trader Joe's, if you've got one nearby. They tend to have reasonably priced cheeses.
posted by brina at 12:09 PM on August 13, 2009

Use domestic swiss or try combining a less expensive cheese with a small amount of gruyere (mozzarella and gruyere should work). You get the flavour at a lower cost.
posted by Wendy BD at 12:13 PM on August 13, 2009

Swiss will taste the closest, but any melty cheese will work just as well, so I'd just use whatever I had in the fridge or whatever is easiest/cheapest to obtain (cheddar, mozzarella, monterey jack, colby, fontina . . . the list goes on; even American or Velveeta if you eat such things).
posted by agent99 at 12:14 PM on August 13, 2009

I agree--Swiss is ubiquitous and should work very well, but another creamier option is Havarti. "Fine, thanks! How are you?"
posted by applemeat at 12:14 PM on August 13, 2009 [1 favorite]

Havarti - that's a good suggestion, since it's softer than Swiss but really similar to Gryuere with with its mild nutty flavor.
posted by Miko at 1:00 PM on August 13, 2009

I was gonna suggest Trader Joe's, if you're near one. The ones here in Chicago often have the exact same brand of Gruyere as the local Jewel grocery stores, for much less. At Jewel it can run $12/lb, but at TJ's it's like $8/lb.
posted by dnash at 1:23 PM on August 13, 2009

I suspect that there's enough else going on in that recipe that you don't have to worry about the cheese variety too much. One way or another it's gonna taste like spinach and garlic and sage and parmesan and oh hey wait a minute now that you mention it there is some other kind of cheese in here...

So, yeah, shoot for the smooth melty texture, and avoid super-strong flavors, and you should be fine.
posted by nebulawindphone at 1:52 PM on August 13, 2009

If it were me, I'd be adding some smoked gouda to that recipe. It would add a nice smokey kick, it melts well, and it's a lot less expensive that Gruyere.
posted by mudpuppie at 2:12 PM on August 13, 2009

You have lots of good suggestions, but if you want something different but still very, very good, try crumbled feta. You can get great sheep's milk feta cheap at CostCo.
posted by maudlin at 2:20 PM on August 13, 2009

This isn't exactly an answer to your question -- but we have tons of different cheeses in the house and they were all bought on discount. We looked for the distributor / importer of the cheeses (a sticker of their contact details usually on the products) and bought directly from them the products that were a month or less close to expiry, at half off.

Generally, shelf life for cheese is longer than what they place on the best before date, so I don't think we're doing anything harmful to our health. At the very least, we consume the products just before the best before date (which doesn't necessarily translate to expiration) anyway.

This actually doesn't work for just cheese. We've had tons of luck with chocolates, beverages, and what-have-yous this way.
posted by drea at 12:52 AM on September 23, 2009 [2 favorites]

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