Deliciously soft and fragrant spruce-bark bound cheeses have been enjoyed as a winter treat in the mountains that border France and Switzerland since the Middle Ages. Traditionally, these cheeses were produced when the cows returned from grazing on high-altitude pastures, where their rich milk was used to make huge wheels of cheese. The smaller spruce bound cheeses offered a practical way of using the limited amount of milk available during the winter months.
Vacherin Le Duc is hand-made in limited quantities using similar techniques but, unlike its older cousins, it is available throughout the year. The cheese has a mild, rich creamy flavor and soft fudgy texture when young. If left to ripen in the box, the smooth pinkish rind starts to bloom and ripple, and the inside softens to a delectable oozing melt-in-the-mouth texture, with a fragrant hint of the forest.
Serve ripe with a spoon at room temperature, or heat in the box in the oven. Either way, make sure to scrape and eat the cheese closest to the spruce bark strip–it's the best part!
Ingredients:pasteurized cow's milk, salt, rennet, bacterial cultures.