Thursday, December 6, 2007

Mont d'Or

"There are strict rules for the production of this cheese. The raw milk can only be from the cows of the Montbéliard and Simmentaler breeds. To shape the Vacherin, it is rounded using a ring of Spruce bark. It is ripened on a Spruce wood board for at least three weeks and is rotated several times before it is placed in its characteristic box made from Spruce wood." -Frencheese

Sounds pretty French to me. It's not Mont d'Or unless the producer follows the protocol to the tee.

But that doesn't matter. This cheese is so delicious that anything jeopardizing its ultimate flavor must be prevented at all costs.

I had a chance to dig a spoon into this creamy white gold while visiting friends in
Lyon. The Thierry family brought out the little box after a big dinner of lasagna and roasted lamb shank. I was stuffed, but temptation got the best of me. I dipped a little spoon in the cheese each time we dined with them that week. It really is perfect on a piece of fluffy country bread after a hearty meal.

We have yet to buy some in Mont de Marsan, but I plan on finding it soon. They only make
Mont d'Or during the autumn and winter months. In keeping with French tradition and the AOC (Appellation d'origine controlée) regulations, the production dates are very precise. My guess is that it's more expensive than the cheese we usually buy, so I have to save up. Maybe I'll splurge after we return from the holiday vacation. It will be our reward for coming back to Mont de Marsan after spending Christmas and New Year's in places like Berlin, Prague, and Vienna. I can't wait!

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