Day 26-Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC

My family is staying over for the weekend: mother, step father, brother-in-law and nephew.  This morning-at 5 AM, my mother and brother-in-law joined me in a discussion about cheese.  Brother-in-law had a dream that my blog was called “from Gruyère to Eternity,” but thought-upon waking, that is wasn’t that funny.  Mother wanted to know how the blogging was going in general, and in general, it’s going well for a relatively vile act of narcissism and gluttony.

They both wanted to smell my cheese this morning-and how often can you actually write that line? One said it smelled “like feet” and the other, “it smells Swiss, actually it smells like female genitalia” (although not using that word).”  We eventually agreed that is potentially smells like Swiss genitalia-and we mean that in the very best way.

This cheese is a pasteurized cow’s milk cheese from Switzerland.  As it has the AOC designation, it is a regional and protected product made from cheese of the Alps, specifically the Frieburg High plateau-a true Mountain cheese.This cheese is made from cow’s milk that is delivered to the fromagerie each day.  It’s often used in fondue with Gruyère or in raclette-this cheese likes to be melted (who doesn’t?)

It was difficult to find much more information about Vacherin Fribourgeois.  Although it has been around since at least the middle of the 15th century, Vacherin Fribourgeois seems to live forever in the shadow of Gruyere.  I have found no mention of this cheese that doesn’t talk about Gruyère in the same sentence-an unfavored  second son, from the looks of it.

My Vacherin Fribourgeois looks a lot creamier and softer than Gruyère, it’s also a lot smaller than the massive rounds of Gruyère (see, I am mentioning Gruyère again, poor Vacherin!) It is pale yellow with a brown inedible rind.  I can smell it through the wrapper, and as already established it is a pungent little cheese-I guess then it’s the smelly little brother of Gruyère.

Here goes…

Hmmmm.  This is yummy.  It’s a little more acidic than I was expecting, almost with an astringent after-bite.  It has a fabulous texture, melting straight away with a lovely tongue feel.  There is no discernible tyrosine-protein crunch nodules-alas!  It’s perfectly salty and quite flavourful-but a little sharp for me, there is no sweetness to be found in this cheese, nor any raunch, so it’s missing two of my favourite components in anything- people or cheese.  My mom likes it, but she’s very open minded.  My nephew says, “it almost made me barf ’cause it smelled so bad,” (but he is 7, wait until he gets a whiff of Epoisses.)

Let’s try it melted…

Well, the melting really chills this cheese out, you can barely taste it now, how strange!  It’s like a tom cat with its balls chopped off-what happened?  I guess if you are looking for a benign melted goo this would be a good bet, otherwise, I personally will take a pass.

Vacherin Fribourgeois-get back in line behind Gruyère, where you belong.  I give you a 3 out of 5 which includes a bonus mark for being compared to
Gruyere (my God, it is “from Gruyere to eternity!”