Often called the "Holy Grail of Cheese," Vacherin Mont d’Or is a bucket list cheese at the pinnacle of cheesemaking craft.
The unique aromas and deliciously nuanced flavours of Vacherin Mont d'Or, along with its seductively silky texture, make it something everyone should try at least once in their lives. (Though we suspect that once you try it, once will not be enough.)
Because it is so unique, Vacherin Mont d’Or is a perfect special occasion cheese. Serving this rare treat to your guests will be sure to impress.
What is it exactly?
Vacherin Mont-d’Or AOP is a highly coveted, soft and gooey cheese produced in the Swiss Alps. Its handmade with unpasteurized, high-fat milk and cellar-aged to perfection.
Each wheel of Mont d’Or is wrapped in a signature belt of spruce bark, aged on cedar planks, and washed with brine (salt water). The rind has an orange-red hue and is adorned with a delicate layer of fluffy white mold.
The aroma of this cheese may be the first thing you notice. It is very pungent. The flavour is mild by comparison and unlike any other cheese—rich with that signature Alpine twang and beautiful, slight woodsy character.
Traditionally, Vacherin Mont d’Or comes in 650 g wheels which are shipped in small, round wooden boxes for individual sale. They’re perfect for serving 4-6 people. Recently, larger wheels have been produced from which wedges can be sliced.
When is it available?
Vacherin Mont d’Or is a seasonal cheese produced during a limited window from September to April each year. During the rest of the year, much of the Swiss milk supply traditionally goes toward making those humongous wheels of Gruyere.
Imports to Canada of Vacherin Mont d’Or are very limited. They generally only take place around the holiday season from late November to early December.
How long will it keep?
The wheels we import for the holiday season keep well into January making them ideal for Christmas, Hanukkah, and New Year celebrations.
How should I serve this cheese?
This cheese was made for dipping fondue-style.
As with all cheeses, Vacherin Mont d’Or is best served at room temperature at which point it will be very soft and gooey. We also recommend you try baking your wheel of Vacherin Mont d’Or. Its really easy—check out our simple instructions.
(Wedges of Mont d’Or should not be heated. You end up with a runny mess.)
While the rind is technically edible, most people prefer to cut around the top of the wheel and remove the rind whole. Alternatively, you can slice an X in the top of the rind and peel back the four pieces to reveal the molten treasure inside.
Is it pasteurized?
No. The producers do not use pasteurized milk to make Vacherin Mont d’Or. The milk is merely gently heated in a process called thermization. This leaves many of the microorganisms responsible for developing complex flavours alive to create a delicious and more-nuanced cheese.