Over at Spittoonextra.biz there are these great photos and article on this cheese from Jura close to the Swiss border.. It is a raw cows’ milk cheese (ie. Vacherin from “vache” the French for “cow”) and it is an Appellation Controllee cheese with quite strict rules – namely that the fresh milk must be got to the dairy every day; it may only be coagulated (thickened) with rennet; no artificial rapid heating;and the wrapping in a strap of spruce wood and the wooden box are a requirement (as well as a marketing ploy I suspect!). The wooden box is quite important as the cheese will continue to mature once it has left the dairy.
He should of course have looked to match it with a local wine such as Cotes de Jura, where a grape called the Savignin is used. No relation to Sauvignon, it is thought to come from Austria. It produces bone dry quite aromatic wines, which would cut well against the creaminess of the Vacherin. Savignin is also used for the famous Vin Jaune (Yellow Wine) of the Jura.
My main worry about the cheese though is that it looks as though an ordinary knife or cheese knife will not do – going by the picture you need more of an old chisel that’s been languishing in the workshop – although it is a soft cheese – maybe the rind gets a bit tough!
Not far away is a good English run B&B in the village of Sens-sur-Seille (71 Saone-et-Loire, Burgundy) -see their website at www.bandb-burgundy.com
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