Vacherin Mont d’Or season commences

French Cows Cheese from Jura Region

Vacherin Mont d’Or season is upon us, but how do you eat it? You may choose to enjoy it at room temperature, but for a truly special experience, why not try baking the cheese?

Ingredients

3 Shallots, finely chopped
2 Sprigs of rosemary, finely chopped
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
1 cup Butter
30ml Jura Chardonnay
1 Whole Vacherin Mont d’Or, 450g

Method

1. Warm your oven to 350 F.
2. Prepare the Vacherin box by removing the wood with a serrated knife to just below the top of the rind.
3. Soften the shallots and crushed garlic in butter. Finish with rosemary and Jura Chardonnay. Then cook off until the wine is evaporated. Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches room temperature.
4. Remove the top rind of your Vacherin with a long-blade knife. Then, evenly spread the thin layer of cooked shallots and cut downwards into the body of the cheese, so as distribute the mixture throughout.
5. Replace top rind and lid of the box. Cover in foil to stop catching and burning.
6. Place in your oven and bake for 10 mins. Beware of overcooking as the cheese and wood may split.
7. Remove the foil and lid, then grill the top rind until it is golden and crunchy.

Serving suggestions

Baby potatoes or potato chip.
Fresh vegetable batons.
Charcuterie.
Cornichons.

Today, is the cold rainy day here in Northern California. There’s a complicated formula involving coldness, Mondayness, and being just long enough after New Year that you still hate yourself for breaking your resolutions, but like every foodies in the country I’m going to ignore that…..Well, cheering it is to take a whole Vacherin Mont D’Or, splash of Jura Chardonnay, and warm it – still in its wooden box – in the oven….

Even without baking, though, it’s wonderfully gooey. It’s on the more pungent side. It’s funky, savory, a little onion/garlic notes. It’s wrapped in spruce bark, so there’s a bold woody note and a little bit of pine (which gets stronger as you get toward the bottom – my fave part). It’s got a fair amount of salt – for whatever reason, this was a really salty one. Still amazing, though!

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