Produced in the Alsace region of southeastern France, Gres des Vosges is a washed rind cheese made from pasteurized cow's milk in a distinct oval shape, and decorated with a fern leaf.
Produced by Maison Fischer, the aroma of Gres des Vosges is quite pungent and reminiscent of an Alsacian Muenster.
After production cheeses are matured for three weeks, and washed with a brine solution that stimulates the growth of the Bacterium Linens mold - the culture that gives the cheeses their sticky, orange-pink rind and pungent aroma. However, there are some versions of Gres des Vosges that are washed with Kirsch - a type of cherry brandy. In either version, as with most washed rind cheeses, the flavor of the cheese is much milder than the smell would suggest.
The interior paste is white, smooth, rich and velvety, becoming yielding and unctuous with age.
Flavors are very clean and lactic, with notes of fruit and straw.
Either version can be considered a cousin to Muenster cheese - one with a slightly less intense flavor.