Cheese Fest

We love cheese

Vacherin Mont d’Or

Vacherin Mont d’Or is normally supplied in small, round, open topped, wooden boxes about 6 inches (15cm) diameter and wrapped in cellophane. Though bigger wheels are made, they are not particularly practical, for reasons that will become clear later. The uneven surface is a pale pinky yellow, dusted with white, yielding easily under pressure when ripe.

Vacherin Mont d'Or

Vacherin Mont d'Or

This cheese is only available between September and March. The story goes, that it is made from milk from the same cows that normally goes into making Gruyère. However, during the winter months, the cows are brought down from their mountain pastures, put into barns for the winter and fed on hay. The result is the thicker creamier milk used to make this cheese.

Breaking through the cellophane wrapping, releases a wonderful earthy aroma of pine, farmyard and mushrooms.

Under the rind, the cheese itself is very gooey, almost liquid and needs to be spooned out carefully onto the chosen comestible vehicle.

The texture is creamy and decadent with a smooth taste, full of subtle aromas of meadows and hay. Around the perimeter, the flavour becomes strong with the turpentine like flavour of pine sap from the spruce bark, that lines the box. This adds a wonderful edge to the character of this cheese.

A traditional way of enjoying Vacherin Mont d’Or, is to make a hole in the top and pour in a spoonful of white wine. Then place the whole cheese into the oven for 20 minutes. This makes it even more liquid, into which chunks of bread can be dipped. Thereby turning it into a sort of instant fondue.

Vacherin Mont d’Or is quite expensive, costing about £12 for the whole cheese, but is worth it. However, it should be noted that there is another cheese that goes by the name of Vacherin. This is not the same thing at all and is rather disappointing in comparison.

 Purchased from Cheese Please, Lewes.

Reviewed by Nick & Olympia, 2012.


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