Washed Rind Thursday Presented by ACS CCP® Erin Clancy:
Vacherin Mont d’Or
I decided to highlight this cheese because it’s delicious and infamous. It’s French, raw, stinky, meaty, gooey, and worth every bit of trouble you may go to just to get your hands on this cheese. Personally, I went to Montreal in February, took the train to a market, trudged through snow, spoke with a cheesemonger (in something that maybe sounded like French) explained the dilemma of this illegal cheese, was able to get “pasteurized” stickers put on it, and drove through customs in a blizzard so my car wouldn’t be checked thoroughly (it wasn’t at all actually). WORTH IT.
Production of Vacherin Mont d’Or takes place in the Massif du Mont D’Or, which rises to a height of 4,700ft. near the French-Swiss border. AOC status was granted in 1981 and, as such, maturation must also take place within a designated area, over a period of three weeks, at a temperature no greater that 59°F.
Cheeses are produced only in the winter and spring months and, after being taken out of the molds, are encased with a strip of spruce before being aged on a spruce board. They are turned and rubbed with a cloth soaked in brine, which results in each cheese developing a distinctive and pleasing spruce aroma.
Vacherin Mont d’Or is presented in it’s wooden box, in which it continues to ripen. The pleasant scent of the spruce band in which it is encased permeates the cheese and also helps maintain its shape. It should not be removed, rather it is easier to cut a “lid” in the top of the cheese and spoon out its liquidy center. It can also be spread on bread or potatoes.
The surface of the cheese is moist and golden-red in color, sometimes with imprints of the cloth. The yellow paste is creamy and soft.(this entire description was taken directly from Culture via their cheese library)
Now, what’s you favorite Vacherin Mont d’Or inspired cheese that you can get stateside?
For more links that tell the beautiful story or Vacherin Mont d’Or:
Congratulations to our 2017 ACS CCP Exam and Conference Winners: Kelley Jewell, Tyler Frankenberg, ACS CCP® Hazel-Rue Woodies and ACS CCP® Matt Bellingham. Thanks to the generous donations from cheese lovers everywhere, we are thrilled to send these four worthy recipients to Denver this July!!! You can read all the details here.