The Two Underrated Cheeses You Should Start Cooking With

The human race loves to eat cheese in all its many sweet, salty, funky, moldy, and glorious forms — and there are facts that prove so. According to statistics, the European Union and its 27 member countries collectively consumed 9.4 million metric tons of cheese in 2022, followed by the United States, which alone ate through cheese worth six million metric tons.

But we aren't just eating the usual heavily processed cheeses or sticking to familiarity. A 2021 study found that 53% of the cheese-eating participants classified as Innovative Cheese Explorers, whereas 30% came under the category of turophiles who enjoyed sticking to the same types of cheese. The majority preferred to be adventurous with their choices of cheese and were open to tasting and trying new and unfamiliar cheeses that they may not have before.

Regardless of the category, a former cheese grader and the current Northwest Regional Sales Manager of Cabot Creamery Co-operative, Craig Gile, told Delish there are two underrated Swiss cheeses everyone should consider buying the next time they go to a cheese shop, especially if they are looking for a cheese they can cook with. His cheeses of choice for cooking are raclette and gruyère.

The melty Swiss cheeses of your dreams

Gruyère's semi-firm texture and its sweet and nutty notes inherently lend well to charcuterie boards, but the Swiss cheese also melts wonderfully when warmed up (via BBC Goodfood). Besides being the cheese of choice in two hot French classics — croque monsieur and French onion soup — Gruyère can also make a smooth cheese fondue and pairs well with a sprinkle of parmesan or sbrinz cheese in hot recipes.

Raclette, on the other hand, is the famous cheese from viral social media videos that glides off a cheese melter and straight onto plates of food like a thick blanket of warm and gooey goodness (via Emmi). While raclette does refer to the Swiss cheese made from cow's milk, it's also the name of a dish popularly eaten in Switzerland when temperatures drop and winter kicks in (via Eat, Little Bird). Using a raclette grill, a raclette meal is cooked on the table where the cheese is melted in a pan under a grill, while meats and vegetables cook on top. The melted cheese is then scraped over an assortment of grilled meats, vegetables, pickles, and boiled potatoes on each plate. For those who don't have a raclette grill, stringy raclette and gruyère can also be served as part of a charcuterie board to give it a warm twist. In fact, if you're looking to add a bit of melted cheese to any meal for that matter (because, why wouldn't you?), gruyère and raclette are worthy candidates.