Mont d’Or: stink just got stinkier

Vacherin du Haut Doubs

“Add some garlic and a little bit of wine and pop it in the oven….” Words of wisdom right out of the cheesemonger’s mouth. We bought this Mont d’Or at a traveling french market in February. An opened sample, just like that one above, sat out on the counter, beckoning fools for cheese – like MotH and myself – with a wonderfully offensive odor.

Mont d'Or w/garlic and wine

Santa Rita 120On the french side of the border (there’s also a swiss version) this seasonal, unpasteurized, cow’s milk cheese is produced between August and March. Packed in spruce boxes, they’re most likely to be found among cheese displays from September to April and can only get better if allowed to ripen even further. We took the advice of the cheesemonger but only after tasting some of it first. The flavor comes familiarly close to that other stinky cheese, époisse. After melting it to oozy goodness with a big fat clove of minced garlic and a splash of wine, this made a mean fondue with pan-roasted potatoes. We drank a supermarket cab from Chile which failed to hold up to the pungent Mont d’Or, and pungent it was! Can you imagine your whole house smelling like a roomful of dirty socks?

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