I found this item today at Grocery Outlet San Leandro, while looking for actual Gruyère cheese for a recipe. Normally, I would stay away from anything that calls itself a “cheese product,” but nothing in the ingredient list seemed scary (though it does contain sodium phosphates, emulsifying salts and sorbic acid) so I figured, why not?
It was a great choice. This cheese tastes *just* like Laughing Cow cheese, but it’s more solid. You can cut it into slices and have it melt on your burgers. As other processed cheeses, it melts beautifully. It’s also damned tasty to eat by itself – and I’m thinking of including it on my Christmas Eve dinner cheese plate.
It turns out that processed cheeses can last a long time because they have preservatives added. Plus they are fattier. Amazingly, a lot of the cheeses we know – such as Mozarella, Cheddar, Brie, Camembert and Swiss – are processed cheeses. Who knew?
Amazingly, I haven’t been able to find any references to this cheese in the internet. Grand European is a trademark of Pacific Cheese Co., located in Hayward (next door to San Leandro), which distributes it. Costco sells a Havarti and a Gouda with the same label. This Gruyere cheese products says it’s made in Germany.
My fear is that this cheese will be difficult to find – cheeses at Grocery Outlet come and go. Fortunately, it’s very cheap ($2.20 for about 7 oz) and it will last until March next year.