Mont d'Or, sometimes called Vacherin du Haut Doubs, is a soft cheese made from raw cow's milk. Only milk from Montbéliard and Simmental cattle may be used in its production. It is created at an altitude of over 700 meters in the dairies on the plateau of the Doubs department, where deep forests alternate with green meadows in the mountain landscape.
Mont d'Or is a seasonal cheese produced from August 15th - March 15th and sold from September 10th to May 10th.
The expression Mont d'Or (French for Goldberg, named after the mountain of the same name Mont d'Or in the Jura) appeared in the course of the 19th century. As early as 1280 there are first written traces that mention a cheese surrounded by a strap. In the 18th century It was already present at the table of King Louis XV and was described in the report on cheese production as a so-called cream cheese because of its taste and consistency. He hasn't changed since then.
The cheese was made by farmers who valued winter milk. In winter the cows produced less milk and access to the cheese factory was made difficult by the harsh climate. So the breeders on the farm made small cheeses for personal consumption. Mont d'Or was originally considered a cheese for year-end celebrations.
A protected cheese
The cheese has enjoyed Protected Designation of Origin (AOC) status since 1981. His ancestry is officially recognized. The Mont d'Or has been awarded the gold medal for the best cheese many times and has received the renowned AOP seal. This European label guarantees consumers that all stages of production take place in the defined geographical area of the appellation - Haut Doubs at an altitude of over 700 m - from milk production to maturation.
The spruce and the Mont d'Or - inseparable!
The cheese is sold in a wooden box, with the cheese itself surrounded by a ring of spruce wood, which gives off a slight woody flavor to the cheese during the ripening process. These wooden rings are cut by the Sanglier from the bast of freshly felled spruce trees and some are artistically decorated. The ring presses the cheese lightly and actively contributes to the development of the cheese: the resin gives the cheese its delicious and characteristic taste. During the at least three weeks of ripening, it remains compressed in its packaging and acquires its wrinkled, yellow to brown bark. The creamy, mild, soft dough is hidden under the rind and can also be enjoyed with a spoon.
A special treat is the Mont d'Or from the oven