The Best French Onion Soup Cheese
If you are making French onion, soup cheese is a very important part of the dish. Cheese is used to top French onion soup and the flavor of the cheese contrasts well with the other flavors in the onion soup recipe.
What Cheese is in French Onion Soup?
Traditionally, Gruyere is used to top French onion soup recipes but if you do not like Gruyere, or cannot find it, you can still make a version of French onion soup using a different cheese or even omitting it altogether.
Gruyere is one of the most famous Swiss cheeses. It is piquant, hard, and hearty and made from cow milk. Gruyere is named after Gruyeres, which is a Swiss town, and the surrounding La Gruyere region in the west of Switzerland.
Gruyere cheese has a brown, wrinkled crust and the cheese inside is pale yellow. It tastes salty, nutty, richly flavored, and slightly sweet in a fruity kind of way. Gruyere is similar to Emmental, which is another Swiss cheese, but it is firmer and has a stronger flavor.
Using a Different French Onion Soup Cheese
The best cheese for French onion soup is whichever cheese you happen to find the tastiest. If you enjoy the flavor of Gruyere, you will find that the delicious tangy flavor contrasts perfectly with the sharp yet sweet onion flavor and the meaty beef broth in the soup itself.
Some onion soup recipes call for a different cheese. For example, an Italian style onion soup with basil and Italian flavors might call for mozzarella-topped croutons. A Mexican style onion soup with chilies and corn is tasty with a spicy cheese topping or something like Monterrey Jack.
A French chef would be horrified at the thought of using anything except Gruyere cheese to top a French onion soup and he would also be shocked at using canned beef broth. The truth is, however, that not everybody likes Gruyere cheese and not everyone has the time to make homemade beef broth.
Cheese for Easy French Onion Soup
If you work all day and you want to make a quick, easy, and delicious meal for your family, there is nothing wrong with using canned broth or using a different kind of cheese. As long as the ingredients, you use appeal to your family that is more important than sticking rigidly to the classic French onion soup recipe.
Cooking is about combining your favorite ingredients to make nutritious, delicious meals, which are so good you want to make them over and over. If you do not like cheese but you do like onion soup, you can use garlic butter as a topping for your croutons instead or just serve the soup without a bread or crouton topping.
If you want to use another kind of cheese, you will need something strong flavored enough to stand up to the flavor of the French onion soup and something that has a nice texture when it melts.
A nutty Jarlsberg, a smooth mozzarella or a combination of Jarlsberg with Provolone would be great with most onion soup recipes. You might even like to grate some fresh parmesan cheese over the top but use fresh parmesan rather than the canned type.
French Onion Soup Cheese for Vegetarians or Vegans
If you are catering for a vegetarian or vegan, you will not be using beef broth in your onion soup recipe. You can get vegetarian or vegan Gruyere cheese or simply omit the cheese altogether.
There is no point in topping an onion soup with a cheese you do not enjoy or using any cheese at all if you do not happen to like it. If you do like cheese, try some different types or maybe a mixture of two cheeses and you might stumble upon a new winning combination of French onion soup cheese.
When making French onion soup cheese is an important ingredient. The cheese you use should blend well with the other ingredients. For a classic French onion soup, you should use Gruyere cheese but you can use another kind instead, depending on the finished flavor you are aiming for. Creamy mozzarella, a sharp cheddar, or any other kind of cheese you like is fine. The traditional way to serve cheese with French onion soup is to sprinkle grated cheese over the croutons and broil it until it melts and is golden brown.
French Onion Soup Cheese – Gruyere Cheese
Gruyere cheese is firm and pale yellow and it has a slightly sweet flavor. It is a hard yellow cheese, which is made from cow’s milk. The nutty creaminess of a young Gruyere is delicious with French onion soup, as is the strong earthiness of an aged Gruyere cheese. For the perfect French onion soup cheese, be generous with your Gruyere and scatter it liberally all over your delicious onion soup.
French Onion Soup Cheese – Jarlsberg Cheese
Jarlsberg cheese is a mild cow’s milk cheese from Norway. It has big holes all over it and a buttery, slightly nutty flavor. Gruyere might be the traditional cheese for topping a French onion soup recipe but Jarlsberg offers a rich flavor and melts nicely, especially when you combine it with a bit of Provolone. You might like to make a classic French onion soup but switch the Gruyere for Jarlsberg for a slightly different, yet still delicious, flavor.
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