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Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Cheese: Mont d’Or

            In the department Haut Doubs of the region Franche-Comté, an unpasteurized cow’s milk cheese of uncompromising quality is produced: Le Mont d’Or.   This slightly pressed, soft cheese holds AOC (Appellation d’Origine Controlée) standing and is produced just along the Swiss border.  There are many particularities about this cheese.  First, it is also produced in Switizerland where it also carries an AOC standing, and together the two cheeses are referred to le vacherin.  Second, the pastures are at least 700 meters in altitude and consist of rich grasses which add to the color and mild creamy texture of the cheese.  The cheese is produced only from mid-August to mid-March from Montbéliarde cows.  Milk from these same cows is used to create Comté cheese in the spring and summer.  Once aged, the cheese is encircled by pine bark before the aging is complete in its cylindrical wood box.  The bark adds a slight flavor that becomes milder closer to the center of the cheese.
            Mont d’Or has a slight aroma, and to some might even be considered a “stinky cheese”; however, I find it to have less of an odor than a Reblochon or Camembert de Normandy.  It’s actually quite mild and delicate.  The rind is slightly stronger in taste, but that is common in soft mold cheeses.  It can be served at room temperature, or warmed in in the oven then spooned over boiled potatoes or served with bread.

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