What's the perfect holiday cheese? Well IMHO, it's Vacherin Mont d'Or, an oozy, creamy, complex and stinky cheese from the French or Swiss Alps.
Served at room temperature or warmed up in a slow oven, Vacherin is a great party cheese, and goes well with crisp white, light red and sparkling wines.
Vacherin Mont d'Or is a seasonal cheese, only available in the winter months, made from the milk of mountain cows who have been brought down from their pastures for the season.
It's related to other mountain cheeses such as Emmentaler and Gruyère, but made in much smaller rounds and also treated differently, so that the cheese is almost liquid when fully ripe.
This unique artisan product has a deep woodsy smell and flavor, Vacherin has an almost liquid interior. It comes in a round pine box, with the cheese enclosed by a birch or spruce strip called a sangle, and a velvety reddish/brownish rind.
To eat the cheese, allow it to breathe at room temperature for several hours before slicing off the rind and enjoying the soft cheese inside, or warm it up,
s l o w l y.
Our version - called Petit Vaccarinus - is thermalized so that it passes FDA muster, but still delivers the wonderful stinky, oozy cheese you know and expect.