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Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP

Area geografica

The geographical region includes the canton of Freiburg, as well as the Bernese municipalities Clavaleyres and Münchenwiler.

Production

The Vacherin fribourgeois AOP/PDO is manufactured in a copper kettle. The milk must be processed at the latest 24 hours after milking. The milk cows are fed on natural fodder in summer and winter. In order to ensure traceability, each freshly manufactured cheese loaf is taggedd with a casein mark. After production the fresh cheeses are plunged into a salt water bath to ensure they are non-perishable. Subsequently they are stored on spruce plank in maturing cellars and regularly treated with salt water. To ensure that the rather soft cheese loaves remain compact, they are wrapped in a gauze fabric only a few days after manufacture. The maturing process of the cheese lasts for at least 63 days. The Vacherin fribourgeois PDO is appreciated beyond its regional frontiers as fondue ingredient. A creamy, soft texture and a slightly sour taste, as well as a very good melting capacity are the typical characteristics of the Vacherin fribourgeois PDO. As one of the rare semi-hard cheeses it melts already at a temperature of approx. 5°C, which can be attributed to the special acidification during the maturing period.

History

We encounter the name of the Vacherin fribourgeois for the first time in legal texts from 1420. Already centuries ago cattle breeding was practised and cheese was manufactured in the Alps at the time. According to language specialists, the word Vacherin should come from the Latin vaccarinus (small cowherd). The small cowherd supports the herders (vaccarius) on the Alp by milking and looking after the cows (vacca). As was the case with a lot of other types of cheese the production of the Vacherin Fribourgeois was for a long time limited to a specific season. Thus the milk was processed to Vacherin only just in the spring, when the herd was still modest, and especially in the autumn, towards the end of the summer pastures, when the milk quantity was no longer sufficient for the production of big Gruyere loaves.

Comment
The Vacherin fribourgeois PDO is available in specialised shops and in food departments everywhere. It is used especially in fondue mix or as semi-hard cheese.