Thursday, January 8, 2009

O, voluptuous Vacherin

This is possibly my favourite cheese in the whole world and if you haven't tried it you must.

It's called Vacherin Mont d'Or and it comes from either France or Switzerland on either side of the Alps. There are apparently heated arguments about which country actually invented it, a battle both protagonists claim to have won.

It comes packed in a wooden box, encircled with a sprig of spruce which is held to add its flavour to the cheese but to be honest it's so stinky once matured that the flavour is hard to detect. (It's an unpasteurised, washed-rind, cows' milk cheese)

The best way to eat it - and this is how a friend and I had it at a disgraceful pig-out at a London wine bar called Terroirs - is to bake the box whole in the oven and serve it with new potatoes, sprinkled with sea salt. You simply dunk the potatoes in the molten, velvety cheese, which tastes like the best fondue you could possibly imagine. I suggest you serve a green salad on the side.

It's only made between October and March so you have a couple more months to enjoy it. Possibly, if you have a cheese-loving partner, as the ultimate Valentine's feast.


Vinogirl said...

Green salad...and a red wine, heavy on the resveratrol, to off set any ill effects on your arteries :)
Very decadent and yummy sounding.

Fiona Beckett said...

Actually I'd normally accompany it with a white wine as the tannins in a red can clash with the strong flavours of the cheese but the other day we drank a stalky young French syrah which went very well!

Vinogirl said...

To hell with convention...I was just looking out for my arteries!

Keep up the great posts.