Crafting Organic Gruyere in Kars
Gruyere’s Tale An Organic Delight
Gruyere, a specialty of the Caucasian countries, finds its organic roots on the high plateaus of Kars, making it a crucial product for the region. Giiven Yildirimturk, the proprietor of Borluk Farm, shares the story behind their annually produced gruyere, drawing inspiration from Holland and Switzerland.
Exploring Gruyere’s History
Q: Can you shed light on the history of gruyere Read More about HORSES OF KARS?
Giiven Yildirimturk: Gruyere was first crafted in 1936 at Kars Dogulu Farm. Unfortunately, this exquisite cheese is not well-promoted. The fully organic gruyere of Kars stands out as a product exclusive to the high plateaus of the region, cherished worldwide.
Borluk Farm: A Natural Haven
Q: Could you provide information about the farm?
Guven Yildirimturk: Situated naturally, our farm is located 10 km from Kars at an altitude of 2450 m, boasting 425 varieties of flowers and ample water resources. Our cattle, grazing freely, are milked within 20 minutes, initiating the production process promptly Turkey Tour Guide.
The Gruyere Production Process
Q: Can you walk us through the production process?
Giiven Yildirimturk: Initially, the gruyere is poured into cauldrons and undergoes fermentation. Following fermentation, it’s cut, and the cauldrons are heated to 45-60 degrees until the cheese takes on a rice-like form. We place weights of 1.5 – 2 tonnes on the cheese, turn it inside out, and pickle it in brine for 15 days. It then spends a week in a cold warehouse, followed by daily cleaning and salting in a hot store at 30 – 40 degrees for 60 days. After this, it repeats a similar process for an additional month in the cold warehouse, culminating in a 20-30 day stint in the ice house before becoming ready for consumption.
Q: Are there specific seasons for production?
Guven Yildirimturk: The season spans from May to mid-July. We halt production when the flowers lose their distinctive characteristics. While other producers make cheese in the 10th month, the quality suffers, resulting in a yellowish hue.
Qualities of Fine Gruyere Cheese
Q: What defines a good gruyere cheese?
A superior gruyere showcases “cat eyes” holes, signifying larger holes. Due to its organic nature, this cheese is transparent. Conversely, poor-quality gruyere features “mouse eyes” holes and a different color, often tinged with grey. Gruyere cannot tolerate impurities, emphasizing the importance of purity in its crafting.