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Dairy industry Making a classic cheese

Vacherin Mont-d’Or is a Swiss speciality. But producing the cheese is not without its challenges. (SRF/

Vacherin Mont-d’Or is a seasonal cheese made from cow’s milk. It is produced in different variations, both in France and in Switzerland, in the Jura region at the border between the two countries. This type of Vacherin is produced by a handful of producers in the French-speaking canton of Vaud, between autumn and spring.

A slightly soft cheese with an ripple-effect outer layer, it is kept together by a ring of spruce bark and is typically stored in round boxes made of spruce wood which all contribute to the cheese’s hallmark taste.

As the story goes, the recipe was brought to Switzerland in 1870 by a solider of the Bourbaki army during the  Franco-Prussian War.   

Vacherin Mont-d’Or has been a Swiss Protected Designation of Origin product since 2003, and has a museum dedicated to it in the Les Charbonnières. 

Vacherin Mont-d’Or shouldn’t be confused with Vacherin Fribourgeois, which is firmer in consistency and mainly produced in the Swiss cantons of Vaud and Fribourg. This is a semi-hard cheese is used to prepare fondue, especially in the more seasoned variations. 

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