Vacherin Fribourgeois was first mentioned in a recipe from over 1000 years ago, paired with Gruyere for a most traditional fondue. Today, although most of Vacherin is being pasteurized and industrially made at large scale dairies, The Vacherin made at Fromagerie de Marsens Vuippens is created using age traditional techniques, the current recipe revived from a 19th century version found by master cheese maker Marc Henri Horner. The curd is cooked, yet unpressed, and the cheese washed and turned by hand for the duration of its aging period of 4 to 6 months. Flavors are earthy and mushroomy, with clear aromas from the cellar. The rind is sturdy and brown, wrinkled with crevices much more similar to French tomme styles than to Alpine cheeses. With age, the paste closest to the rind becomes soft and runny while the interior remains more lactic and firm.
Marc-Henri Horner, master cheesemaker at Fromagerie de Marsens Vuippens began making cheese in 1983. He gained certification from the Grangeneuve Posieux dairy school and, after apprenticing with two master cheese makers, eventually bought the dairy at Vuippens in 1991. Shortly after he took over the dairy he found an old photograph, the photo on the top right of this page, which would change his life. He had never seen cheeses like the one in the photo, and inquired about them to his colleagues. Replying that the cheeses were the traditional Vacherin of Fribourg, before industrialization, Horner was set on a mission to recreate Vacherin Fribourgeois in the traditional style. Using a recipe from the 19th century, Horner successfully revived the cheese of his ancestors. Production has increased from 40 wheels per month to 500 wheels per day. Horner gets his milk from 15 small family farms within 7 miles of the dairy. Herds are made up of a mix between red and black Holstein, all fed a silage free diet, ensuring the highest quality milk.
FORMAT 17lb tomme
TYPE Uncooked Washed rind
MILK Unpasteurized cow Red Holstein, Black Holstein (15 contributing herds)
RENNET Traditional calf rennet
PRODUCER Marc Henuri Horner & Fromagerie de Marsens
REGION Fribourg Switzerland
AGE 4-6 months
PROFILE Semi-firm, but milky and delicate. Sweet & custardy, slightly sour with subtle hints of smoke.