Vacherin Mont d'Or
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Vacherin Mont d'Or is a special seasonal cheese made in both France and Switzerland. Only available between mid-September and March. The cheese is made from the winter milk of cows who are brought down from their pastures in the Jura mountains region for the season. The cheese is bound by a band of spruce. Spruce cutters come to the Jura specifically for the Mont d'Or season to fell the trees and cut the bark for the binding process. Many people in the area feel that the Jura and its spruce trees are inextricably linked. The scent of the spruce permeates the cheese and gives it a distinct and pleasant aroma, rather like maturing wine and spirits in oak barrels. There should be a good balance between the spruce and the cheese; one should not overpower the other. The spruce girdle also helps the cheese keep its shape and should not be removed even when serving. Vacherin Mont d'Or is a very delicate cheese, and should be kept very cold in storage before being consumed from 4-5 weeks of maturity. It has an orangey pink washed rind and is buttery, velvety and when it's at its best is Hard to contain and should be eaten with a spoon. Its flavour is rich, creamy and fruity, which lingers on the palette. To eat the cheese, it is recommended that it be allowed to breath at room temperature for several hours before carving off the inedible rind and scooping out the Soft cheese inside with a spoon.
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