Vacherin – Mont d’Or
Cow's cheese • Soft • French
Named after a local mountain in the Franche-Comté region Mont d’Or really is a special treat of a cheese; fiercely protected and steeped in history and tradition. It can only be sold between September 10th and May 10th, after which the cellars where it is made are closed until the next season. Both rearing of the Montbéliarde cattle and production of Vacherin must occur at an elevation higher than 700m because this is where the magical gentian grows, just part, but a very important one, of the herb rich mountainous pasture that blends into the surround spruce forests. And the spruce? It is used to first make a girdle to contain the cheese during early production and then its famous box and guess what? It has to be local too, imparting yet more of the flavour from its unique surroundings.
How does it taste? Step aside baked camembert! This is a fine champagne by comparison. In Paris, they bake Vacherin Mont d’Or, but, in the Jura, where the cheese comes from, they just spoon it straight from the box and enjoy the rich, voluptuous texture and full fruity flavour.