Vacherin Mont d’Or
Intense: powerful, gooey.
- Cows' Milk
Only made seasonally (in the winter) Vacherin Mont d’Or is hedonistic: powerful, rich and often running out of the box!
The Vacherin Mont d’Or selected by The Courtyard Dairy is made by one of the most outstanding producers in the region – Sancey-Richard – and then extra-aged to only be sold at 8 weeks old to allow its unctuousity and rich, piney flavours to develop fully.
More about this
This cheese originates from the Mont d’Or in France (and is also known as Vacherin du Haut Doubs or simply Mont d’Or). As the summer comes to an end and the air gets cooler, the cows come down the mountain and their milk becomes fattier and reduces in quantity. These changes mean making Comté (a hard aged cheese) becomes difficult. Hence, traditionally, a soft, rich, quick-ripening small cheese is made. To this day the cheese can only be made seasonally between 15th August and 15th March. If you are interested in why Mont d’Or remains a seasonal cheese, click here to read The History of Vacherin Mont d’Or.
Vacherin Mont d’Or uses the fattier, richer milk. The cheese is encircled in spruce bark (to prevent it collapsing), which imparts a resinous flavour. Washed frequently for three weeks, it is then crimped into a box, forming its wrinkly rind. Sold generally from eight weeks onwards, it is rich and hedonistic. Vacherin Mont d’ Or is often baked till it is warm and runny, but it also enjoyed spooned straight out of the box (which is how the locals prefer it!).
There are 10 producers of Vacherin. The Courtyard Dairy works with Patrick Sancey (pictured) and his family business, which produces just a minuscule 2% of the annual output from France. The Courtyard Dairy has a strong relationship with cheese-maker Sancey-Richard and MonS, because the quality of their milk, cheese-making and ageing surpasses that of other Vacherin producers, to give an amazing depth of flavour – if you are based outside the UK it is worth searching out where to buy Vacherin Mont d’Or that is made by Sancey Richard as their cheese is truly special.
Other Vacherin producers nowadays tend to tweak their recipe and maturation to make a more mass-market, ‘please everyone’ cheese. They are good, but they major just on the approachable flavours – creamy, rich, buttery, unctuous. Patrick’s Vacherin Mont d’Or is much more true to its roots: a strong, farmyardy, richer-textured, pungent cheese, at its optimal ripeness October onwards.
(Sancey-Richard achieve this more traditional profile of Vacherin by pre-maturation of the milk, less stirring in the making process and traditional cultures in making.)
Find out more about what makes Sancey Richard’s Vacherin Mont d’Or so special at: Making Vacherin Mont d’Or: Andy’s visit to producers Sancey Richard.
This product will have two weeks’ shelf life from the date of delivery. Conveniently, at checkout you can choose a delivery date even well in the future if you would like your cheese delivering for a specific event.
Nutritional Data (typical values, per 100g):
(of which saturates) 21g
(of which sugars) <1g
Weight: 1 x 450g cheese.