Spruce-wrapped cheeses are some of the sexiest wheels that money can buy! These babies are basically the easiest, sexiest fondue out there: mini hot tubs filled with silky, savory custard with a woodsy aroma you’ll never forget. Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm is the most widely available of any spruce-wrapped cheese. Here’s how to serve her in 3 simple steps.
How to Serve Harbison or Any Other Spruce-Wrapped Cheese
There’s nothing sexier than sinking your spoon into the silky innards of a bark-wrapped cheese. It’s the quintessential cheese of autumn, with a rich, mouth-coating texture perfumed with a hint of forest. But who are these cheeses, where did they come from, and, most importantly, how should you eat them?
What is a spruce-wrapped cheese?
Vacherin Mont d’Or is the grandmommy of all bark-wrapped cheeses, and she originated in the Alps. When fall hits, dairy cows in this region switch their diet from fresh grasses to hay, which makes their milk much richer. When you turn that thicc milk into cheese, they tend to get so soft and runny that the wheels fall apart. To keep them intact, cheesemakers wrap them in a strip of spruce bark—which also lends a sweet, piney quality to the cheese, kind of like what happens to whiskey in an oak barrel.
There are tons of different spruce-wrapped cheeses to try, from European classics like Mont d’Or to American varieties like Harbison from Jasper Hill Farm. Each of these beauties has her own unique flavor, but almost all of them share hints of bacon and a cozy pine aroma.
How do you serve a spruce-wrapped cheese?
Whichever spruce-wrapped cheese you choose to worship, the best way to indulge in this orgasmic flavorgy is by taking her top off and diving straight into her custardy center. Here’s how to serve them in three simple steps.
1. Get her runny.
For a spoonable texture, take the wheel out of the refrigerator at least an hour before serving. Better yet, warm her in the oven at 250°F for about 5 minutes, until she’s soft to the touch. If you’re on or past the expiration date, skip this step. She’s already good to go.
2. Take her top off.
Use a paring knife to carefully slice all the way around the rind, just inside the bark. Slowly peel back and remove the rind. You can also just take off half the rind, which makes for a sexy, scantily clad presentation. Don’t throw away the rind: you’ll want it later when you’ve finished the spoonable part and are still craving more.
3. Go down on her.
Devour her silken insides with nothing but a spoon—or even just use your fingers. If you want to be extra, surround her with accompaniments for plunging: french fries, pickles, your favorite mustard, or maybe just some warm sourdough. A malty Belgian ale or bourbon cocktail is also a highly recommended addition.
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