Le Duc Grand Vacherin is a large, soft surface-ripened, washed rind cheese specially made for Will Studd in the Haute Savoie region of France. Based on the famous Vacherin du Haut-Doubs (except available all year and made from pasteurised milk), it is bound with a ring of traditional bark skillfully cut from the local spruce trees during the summer months. Chalky & mild when young, it is best enjoyed close to the use-by date when the smooth pinkish rind starts to ripple & bulge and the inside softens to a rich creamy melt in the mouth texture with just a hint of the forest.
A little history about Le Duc Vacherin
Deliciously soft and fragrant spruce-bark bound cheeses have been enjoyed as a winter treat in the mountains that border France and Switzerland since the Middle Ages. Traditionally, these cheeses were produced when the cows returned from grazing on high-altitude pastures, where their rich milk was used to make huge wheels of cheese. The smaller spruce bound cheeses offered a practical way of using the limited amount of milk available during the winter months.
Serve ripe with a spoon at room temperature, or heat in the box in the oven. Either way, make sure to scrape and eat the cheese closest to the spruce bark strip – it’s the best part!