As each year, the famous and creamily delicious Mont d’Or is back, finally… It gives us a good foretaste of the festive season.
A seasonal cheese
Also known as “Vacherin”, “Vacherin du Haut Doubs” or “Vacherin Mont d’Or”, it is a seasonal cheese, that can only be produced from August 15th to March 31st and hence, sold from mid-September to mid-May. Actually, it couldn’t be produced in the summer since it can’t handle hot temperatures. That’s why during spring and summer, where milk is more abundant, Comté cheese is made.
Furthermore, during the winter months, the cows would descend from their summertime mountain pastures, and there would not be enough milk to make the Comté cheese; hence the creation of this smaller, softer and fattier cheese.
In 1980, it is acknowledged with an AOC (appellation d’origine controllée). Then, in 1996, the Protected Designation of Origin a statute has been added, which means that at European level, Mont d’Or cheese can only refer to a specific product, produced under conditions unique in France.
Unlike its Swiss version which is usually made with thermized milk, the Mont d’Or is made with unpasteurised milk. It is almost always sold in its original circular wooden box that gives this subtile and beautiful taste.
How to enjoy a Mont d’Or!
It’s a crucial question… Actually, there are 2 schools, the first recommends having it perfectly ripe with its delicious smooth and creamy texture, straight from the box. Dip in a hunk of fresh baguette and scoop it up, or slather it on with a spoon! It’s got a delicious nutty, earthy taste. You can even consider adding some cold cuts, cornichons and a nice salad and that’s it, you have a delicious and succulent meal to share with your friends!
And the second prefers to enjoy it hot, baked. For more flavour garlic, a little wine and black pepper are usually added before cooking. Adding a drizzle of olive oil, truffle shavings or herbs is also possible, you can be creative. Once baked all you need is to dip bread, croutons, sausage, boiled potatoes or whatever you like as with a fondue. A great moment to share as well…