Also known as “Vacherin”, “Vacherin du Haut Doubs” or “Vacherin Mont d’Or”, the seasonal cheese is sold from mid-September to mid-May.
This is traditionally because during the winter months, the cows would descend from their summertime mountain pastures, and there would not be enough milk to make the region’s traditional Comté; hence the creation of a smaller, softer, fattier cheese.
Vacherin is almost always sold in its original circular wooden box, and can be baked in the oven to be eaten hot - often with potatoes or fondue-style - or eaten cold in salads or with bread. The rind, inside the wooden box, is white and edible.
The French cheese is acknowledged with an AOC (appellation d’origine controllée). It is made with unpasteurised milk, in contrast to the Swiss version of the cheese, which is usually made with thermised milk.
French Vacherin Mont d’Or is soft and rich in texture; and should not be confused with the Swiss cheese of the same name; or the similarly-named Swiss cheese Vacherin Fribourgeois, which is usually firmer and more acidic.
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