Gruyére is sweet but slightly salty with a flavor that varies widely with age. It is often described as creamy and nutty when young, becoming more assertive, earthy and complex with age. Gruyére pairs well with red apples, hazelnuts and hearty breads. It is a good melting cheese, particularly suited for fondues. It is also traditionally used in French onion soup, as well as in croque-monsieur, a classic French toasted ham and cheese sandwich. It is a fine table cheese and, when grated, is often used with salads and pastas.