Add this washed rind mountain cheese to your regular repertoire.
Cheese Name: Vacherin, by Fruitières Chabret, where the term Fruitières in the Savoie and Franche-Comtè regions designate a mountain dairy.
Origin: This version of Vacherin is made in the Bauges Mountains in the heart of the Haut -Savoie.
Milk Type: Fruiteries Chabret’s Vacherin is made of pasteurized cow’s milk, but the cheese's origin is the AOP designated Vacherin Mont d’Or. It is made of raw milk and made only in the late autumn and winter. It is shipped to North America mostly during December. This pasteurized version is made year long, so you can enjoy some similar characteristics even if it isn’t Christmas.
Style: Vacherin is a washed rind soft cheese, wrapped on edge with a spruce bark band. The paste of the cheese can be extremely soft.
Description: Fruiteries Chabret’s version of Vacherin comes in two formats. One is 300-350 grams round, approximately 4 inches wide. There is also a large wheel, but due to the soft and runny consistency of the cheese, the large wheels are a little hard to deal with and to contain once they are cut into. You can clearly see the dark band of spruce bark around the cheese's outer edge, which helps to protect the very soft, slightly straw-coloured interior.
Tasting Notes: The flavour of Vacherin is extremely distinctive. The spruce bark lends an amazing grassy note that doesn’t taste like anything else. Rather than the earthy, vegetal taste of a Camembert or Brie de Meaux, you get a little of the funkiness of a washed rind cheese, finished with a unique fruity taste.
Pairing: The texture lends itself to being heated and served almost like a fondue. You can score the top, drop in a slice or two of garlic, and a tablespoon of white wine, and heat it in the oven. Once it’s heated through and bubbly, you can serve it with small boiled potatoes or chunks of crusty bread.
GOW's recommended wine pairings: