Vacherin Mont d'Or
Vacherin Mont d'Or is special for a number of reasons.
Firstly and most importantly, it is like its own little fondue, complete with pot. You wrap the whole thing in foil, then stick it in the oven and voilà, dippable cheese.
It is produced in the Jura region and is protected with an designation of origin. In fact, the Vacherin Mont d'Or is shared by France and Switzerland, though production differs slightly. The French cheese is made from raw milk, while the Swiss use thermization—a process like pasteurization, but using lower temperatures to let the cheese retain more of its original flavour.
The casing is made from spruce, by hand, and lends its flavour to the cheese.
It is made seasonally—in the winter when the cows descend from the Alps—and the Swiss variety is sold from exactly 15 September to 15 April.
For more information, check out the beautiful Vacherin Mont d'Or website.
1 Vacherin Mont d'Or
1-2 cloves garlic
1 bottle white wine
bread for dipping
Preheat oven to 200 C / 400 F / gas mark 6
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Wrap the whole cheese, including the spruce casing, in aluminum foil, leaving the top exposed. Place on the baking sheet.
Use a paring knife or fork to punch lots of little holes in the exposed cheese rind.
Stuff the cloves of garlic directly into the holes.
Pour about 100 ml of wine over top of the cheese. The rest is for drinking.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Dip your bread.
Not to be confused with Vacherin Fribourgeois, another exceptional Swiss cheese.
If the wine leaks out, just wrap it in another layer of foil and make deeper cuts into the cheese.
You can also slice the garlic thinly and stuff it into many of the holes.
You can also serve this with boiled potatoes, charcuterie, pickles etc.
This time we drank Malvoisie with our Mont d'Or, which is a sweet wine from the Wallis, but we have also often used dry white wines, or you could even use something pink or sparkling.
Outside of Switzerland this is generally stocked in specialty cheese shops from September to May.
In Canada you can find it at: