Le Duc Vacherin

Cows Milk | France

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!

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