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 to March and hence enjoyed from September to May. It's named after Mont d'Or - Golden Mountain - in Jura region, Franche Comté, department of Doubs. 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.
In 1980, it was 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. Gooey, runny, sticky and liquescent (and that’s not a word you’ll often see applied to cheese) Mont d’Or is so French it should be wearing a beret and carrying a baguette.
Unlike its Swiss version which is usually made with thermized milk, the Mont d’Or is made with unpasteurised milk.
It was a favourite cheese of King Louis XV and is the only French cheese to be eaten with a spoon. It derives its unique nutty taste from the spruce bark in which it is wrapped and only eleven factories in the French Jura region are licensed to produce it. It’s a protected cheese and there’s nothing else quite like it.
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. HERE are our Mont d'Or cooking tips. 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…
According to the head of the Vacherin Mont D’Or association, about 70 tons are exported to Europe. It also reaches further afield to Japan, with five tons going to Canada and the US. 150,000 individual 500g boxes across the whole planet is not much to go round! So make sure you will get yours while you can!