Author Topic: Vacherin Fribourgeois  (Read 2449 times)

Offline AndreasMergner

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Vacherin Fribourgeois
« on: November 12, 2012, 08:49:29 PM »
I made this yesterday.  It is a 4 lb wheel of Vacherin Fribourgeois.  I haven't seen any threads for this cheese.   I've never had it, but apparently it is a traditional fondue cheese in Switzerland...and I love fondue!  I used the 200 Cheese book for the recipe.  It is currently drying, so will put it in the cave tomorrow.



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Offline H-K-J

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2012, 09:01:38 PM »
Nice!! tell us how it turns out 8)
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2012, 09:14:10 PM »
Nice!! tell us how it turns out 8)

Will do!

I've searched a bit and I can't seem to find out what washing this cheese with brine will do.  It doesn't have any B linens in it, so what happens??  ...or rather, how is it different than aging it without washing it?

Offline Tiarella

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 07:47:07 AM »
I don't know that type of cheese but can say that brine washing helps to create a good rind and keeps molds in check.  Does this style have a clean rind or natural wild moldy rind?  (not that you have to stick to tradition necessarily)

Forum member Alp has I spired me to use white wine, salt, water in my brine for washing.  He says to wash and keep it damp to avoid molds, that a cheesy creamy paste will develop for the first days and it will in time create a mold resistant rind.  Can't remember the forum thread name but you could look for it in the aging area of the forum.  it's recent.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 08:11:58 AM »
I'm thinking this has a clean rind since it will give the fondue more of a taste I'm looking for.

I did see that thread right after posting. It is actually right in this forum! :) Keeping the rind free of molds sounds like a good reason.


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Offline iratherfly

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #5 on: November 14, 2012, 02:21:03 AM »
Vacherin Fribourgeois is an incredible cheese. It is one of only 8 Swiss cheeses with AOC/IGP status (protected domain). In spite of its name - do NOT confuse it with other cheeses named Vacherin such as the Mont d'Or which is an entirely different cheese (small, runny, wrapped in sprice bark, totally different thing but the name sounds similar).

The Vacherin Fribourgeois it is strictly made manually by artisans and like most of the large format, long aging Swiss cheeses, it is made with spring-summer milk to be consumed in the winter. It is typically made in in large copper Cauldrons and often by artisan makers in tiny remote huts in the alps. I see that you live in NY State so if you ever come down to NYC, there are a number of stores that carry Vacherin Fribourgeois from Rolf Beeler - I hightly recommend them. He is probably one of the top artisan cheesemakers on this planet.

As for your question about the wash. I copied and translated the corresponding part from the legal decree for Vacherin Fribourgeois which was put into law by the Swiss Government in 2005:

Section 3: Description of the method of preparation -> Part C: Aging -> Article 17: maturation parameters
1. Immediately following the completion of the cheeses, a period of 30 days in a "warm" (12-18°C) and wet (88-96 percent) incorporated cellar.
2. Each cheese is turned several times a week and go over them with smear water and / or lightly salted water. The smear forms thanks to the regular treatment with water, which can be enriched with salt and / or cultivated or natural bacterial cultures Brevibacterium linens or approved specific cultures. Antimicrobial use is prohibited.
3. The maturation occurs on boards of spruce (Picea abies).

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #6 on: November 14, 2012, 07:35:19 AM »
Thanks Iratherfly!  This is great info.  My recipe does not mention B linens.  Looks like the legal decree makes B linens optional.  I have Raclette aging right now too, so wanted to make a different style of cheese...so it would be nice if it at least wasn't a strong B linens like the Raclette will be.  I actually made up wash yesterday and put some white wine in it along with salt as recommended in the wash thread in this forum.  The raclette is supposed to be at a lower temp, according to 200 Cheeses, but it also has VF at alower temp than the legal decree. The recipe also calls for the washes to start a week after the VF is put into the cave.

I will try my best!  Since I don't know what the original tastes like I don't have a defined goal.  That, and I have only made half a dozen cheeses so far and am near beginner in skill!  I made a gouda with a natural rind, which made it more like a parm in that it dried out.  I have it a year later and it makes a great grating cheese, but NOTHING like gouda.  :)

There is a co-op here that carries a lot of great cheese.  I'll see if they have or can get VF.  We do go to NYC every once in a while, but we don't have any trips planned there any time soon.

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2012, 01:38:44 PM »
I went to the co-op today and they said they carried VF.  When he went to point it out, there was none!  He said they already ordered another wheel and it should arrive in two weeks.  Another guy said that they had two types, but turns out they were talking about the Mont d'Or which I figured out pretty quickly when they described it as soft.  It also sounded like this VF did not have B linens on it in any great quantity...but will find out in a couple weeks. 

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2012, 02:27:50 PM »
Hmmm... remember I said in my post that
In spite of its name - do NOT confuse it with other cheeses named Vacherin such as the Mont d'Or which is an entirely different cheese (small, runny, wrapped in spruce bark, totally different thing but the name sounds similar).


Vacherin Fribourgeois is a highly saught after rare cheese that is produced manually by only a few highly skilled cheesemakers.  It is rare tobe able to find it in Murray's, Artisanal, Bedford or Fromaggio in NYC so I am not sure what your chances are to find it in the co-op.  (Even though it sounds like a high end co-op).
If you have a chance to try the Vacherin Mont d'Or however, I would try it; it has no relationship to the Vacherin Fribourgeois but it's just an incredible cheese that has a very short season and every cheese lover should know it.  Most of these by the way are not imported to the US because they are raw or thermalized milk and only aged 21 days.

I like the easy approach of 200 Easy Cheesemaking Recipes. It's a great book to learn with, but some of the recipes there are grossly inaccurate and the culture selection she recommends is very generic and dated. Just like her version of Reblochon, I suspect that her Vacherin Fribourgeois is also an inaccurate recipe.  Let me put it this way; this is a cheese that many master cheesemakers from the alps find too laborious to fabricate.  By the way, the large flat format is a key to its success.  I feel that what you would get would be more along the lines of Emmental or Gruyere, but you still need to age it for a really long time and constantly care for it.

Here's a video about Vacherin Fribourgeois. It's in French but I am sure everyone can relate:
Fabrication à Motélon

Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2012, 04:39:22 PM »
Yes, you were right.  I had done a search for Vacherin and gotten lots of the other cheese, so I knew already that there was another one out there.  ;)  The guy thought that both Vacherins were just different styles of the same cheese.  They apparently *do* carry VF.  They knew what it was.  They said it was similar to a Gruyere, which is what you said my cheese may end up like....so I have my hopes up that I will be able to try the real thing. 

One thing that I see from the video is that the final temp seems pretty hot.  200 Cheeses is under 100 F and they use mesophillic.  Oh boy....In any case, I will get SOME KIND of cheese.  :) I do like a wide variety, but I was interested in the VF because I like fondue. 

Do you have another source for recipes that you would recommend?  I bought Ricki Carroll's book first and found that it didn't answer basic questions that I had about even general ideas for making cheese. 


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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2012, 06:25:27 PM »
search google.ch (swiss google) for vacherin friboureois, this will give you better results altough they will be in german and french.

there is a misconception regarding b. linens that they are only there if you put them there. when we wash a cheese, our aim is that the cheese will develop natural b. linens to harden and preserve the rind. these are mild, not as populated as you would have if you added a culture. I understand the law to state that the rind is washed to develop b. linens naturally, or certain accepted laboratory strains of b. linens can also be used. This is virtually the same for our Alpkäse, which is a close cousin to Vacherin Fribourgeois and Le Gruyere.

as for there being only 8 recognized AOC Swiss cheeses by Swiss law, it pleases me that 3 of them are produced only in Canton Bern -Berner Alpkäse and Berner Hobelkäse (which are really the same thing) and Ementaler. And the first two wonderful cheeses are produced only by hand (as per Swiss law) and i do not know that they are to be found anywhere in the US. a full 75% of production of Berner Alpkäse is sold locally, and 20% is sold in other parts of Switzerland. the remaining 5% is sold mostly in Germany or France. This cheese is not produced in sufficient qty for export. This is the difficulty, that very little of the handmade cheeses can be had in N. America. I do hope to rectify the situation to some degree, and maybe some day when we are better established import certain Swiss cheeses

Also, there are many different traditional Swiss fondue cheeses. In the Canton of Bern you will typically find a half mixture of Ementaler and Gruyere.
More common i think among German speaking Swiss is Raclette rather than Fondue. The principal difference between the 2 being that Raclette is drizzled over the food (usually bread and potatoes, maybe some sausage) while Fondue is for dipping (may have even some wine mixed in to keep it thinner)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 06:49:08 PM by Alpkäserei »
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Offline Alpkäserei

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2012, 09:28:21 PM »
It is one of only 8 Swiss cheeses with AOC/IGP status (protected domain).


This is incorrect. There are 12 AOC Cheeses (or 11, depending on whether or not you count Berner Alpkäse and Hobelkäse as the same thing)

Here is the official website and all the AOC cheeses so you can look them over. In German and French
http://www.aoc-igp.ch/konsumenten/produkte/kaeseprodukte

Berner Alp- und Hobelkäse AOC
Bloderkäse Saurkäse AOC
Emmentaler Schweiz AOC
L'Etivaz AOC
Fromaggio d'Alpe Ticenese AOC
Gruyere AOC
Sbrinz AOC
Tete de Moine AOC
Vacherin Fribourgeois AOC
Vacherin Mont d'Or AOC
Walliser Raclette AOC
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Offline Tomer1

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2012, 03:57:43 AM »
@ 12:24 the cheesemaker is using the back of a tbsp to smoothen the rind , thru the cheese cloth!    whats going on over there?!
Whats this technique, why is it used and how do I use it too?  ^-^
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Offline AndreasMergner

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2012, 08:07:07 AM »
Tomer, it looks like he is rounding the corners to me at least, but what do I know?  :)

Thanks for all the info Alpkaeserei!  I do know about Raclette...well, at least eating it.  ;)  We have a couple Raclette grills here at home.  I have one in the cave, but not sure how it will turn out.  I do usually use Gruyere and Emmentaler for fondue, but I didn't have any thermophilic culture for a Gruyere.  Looks like this VF also probably requires thermophilic though! 

Next time I'll search for recipes in German.  Only problem is...how do I know they are correct??  I mean, I could probably find a dozens of recipes for almost any cheese, but which one do you use?

Offline iratherfly

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Re: Vacherin Fribourgeois
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2012, 12:52:39 AM »
It is one of only 8 Swiss cheeses with AOC/IGP status (protected domain).

This is incorrect. There are 12 AOC Cheeses (or 11, depending on whether or not you count Berner Alpkäse and Hobelkäse as the same thing)
I stand corrected; You are right. Some of these cheeses were only IGP in the past. When the EU decided to unify all the country-specific protected domains of origins under one system the Swiss have panicked and decided to pass as many cheeses as possible under their own AOC system before the new laws take place. Upon further reading it seems also that 10 of the 11 became fully active between 2000 and 2006. The 11th cheese was added in 2010. But anyway you look at it, being 1 of those 11 for a country so well known for its cheese is a rare honor. I think that I read somewhere that it was one of only 8 because it was written at the time the decree became active and back then was the 8th cheese.