Autumn is really here and now is the time to tuck into those rich alpine cheeses of our fondue dreams. The ubiquitous Pumpkin Spice-everything gives way in front of what is my personal favorite seasonal flavor. The toasted, brown buttered goodness of a Gruyere or Raclette cheese. Particularly if it has been melted with dry white wine and a squidge of chopped garlic.
Today, however, I’m going to focus (or try to as now I’m thinking mostly of fondue) on the delightful alpine style cheese, Tarentaise from Springbrook Farm in Vermont. By the way, Springbrook Farm is an amazing asset to their local community! Check them out here to read more about how they are introducing urban kids to farm life. Which is rather awesome if you ask me!
Inspired by the Tarentaise valley in France this cheese really delivers on classic alpine flavors. Despite having been made thousands of miles and a a whole culture (pun intended) away from the true high-altitude cheeses of France. Tarentaise hits you first with it’s beautiful texture. It’s all at once fine, powdery cream that is lightly toothsome and gently dissolves on the pallet. Its aroma and flavor play out strong acidified curd and cashew notes. Which blend into well balanced toasted bread, and heavy brown butter with a satisfying meaty-salty finish.
The next time you make fondue (which for your sake I hope is soon) toss in a chopped up hunk of this delightful curd. Serve it up with a good crusty loaf and a pile of French olives and your guests may never leave.