Gruyère is a cheese staple because of its creamy, nutty flavor and sturdy, semihard texture. It’s the perfect addition to a cheese or charcuterie board, plus one of its strengths is that it melts easily for recipes like French onion soup or a croque monsieur.
It also happens to be one of the most expensive cheeses in the grocery store, averaging about $15 to $20 a pound if you’re going for the AOC label. And no, we’re not referring to Congresswoman Ocasio-Cortez—we assume she is too busy to be stamping cheeses. AOC stands for appellation d’origine contrôlée, which in French cheese-speak is the label that protects a product’s ingredients and methods, tying them to a particular location.