Vacherin Mont d'Or is perhaps one of the most sought-after cheeses on the market. This cow's milk cheese is wrapped in spruce and comes to us in individual 12oz rounds contained in wooden boxes.
Vacherin Mont d'Or is made in both France and Switzerland (the origin is a point of contention between the two countries), but ours comes to us from Switzerland. Traditionally made with the winter milk of the same cows that produce Gruyère in the summer, this cheese is only available from October until April, making it all the more precious. The cheese must be made from cows munching on straw and fodder (which gives their milk extra richness); once outside to graze at pasture, their milk is used for larger alpine cheeses. Swiss regulations also dictate the cheese must be produced at elevations of 2,297 feet or higher.
This cheese is pure pleasure. It's ooey gooey and tastes rich and woodsy. We love to leave it out at room temperature and then spread it on crusty bread, or bake it. To bake it, purchase one of the 12oz round wooden boxes, remove the plastic, wrap the bottom and sides of the box in foil, cut slits into the top rind, insert garlic cloves into the slits, add a splash of white wine and then bake at 375ºF set on a sheet pan for 20 to 30 minutes or until it is melty and runny. Serve with crusty bread, cornichons, boiled potatoes, and sliced cured meat.
Caring for Your Cheese
How much cheese should I buy?
We advise buying small quantities more frequently to avoid long term storage because the complex flavors and aromas of good cheese will change and degrade over time. For appetizer quantities and not much left over, we suggest 1/4 lb per person. For larger servings or if you'd like some left overs, we suggest a full 1/2 lb per person.
How should I serve my cheese?
You can serve any number of cheeses: a single magnificent chèvre or a large selection celebrating the diversity of aromas, flavors and textures found in various traditions around the world. Choose what you like and what you expect your audience will enjoy. We usually go for a selection of three to four cheeses with various milk types, textures and flavors.
Take your cheese out of the refrigerator an hour or so before serving. Just before serving, unwrap each cheese and scrape the cut surface with a knife edge to remove a thin layer. If you notice dried out parts or mold on the face of the cheese, cut it away.
Can I eat the rind?
Most cheeses have rinds and most rinds are edible. If you don’t like the taste or texture, cut it off.
What do I do about the mold on my cheese?
Cheese stored for some time may grow exterior molds. Typical molds will be white or blue-green but you can sometimes come across yellow or gray. Most of the time, you can refresh the cheese by cutting away those affected areas. The cheese underneath will be fine.
How do I store my cheese?
Store in a higher humidity area of your refrigerator - likely an enclosed spot which allows for limited airflow rather than constant drafts.
How do I wrap my cheese?
Use a clean wrap of the cheese paper, or, in a pinch use parchment (for softer cheeses) or aluminum foil (for firm to hard cheeses).
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