If you like rich, gooey cheese, Vacherin Mont d'Or could be the ultimate pleasure. It's sold whole (in several sizes; the smallest is about 450 grams) in a round pine box to maintain the shape - it's so soft it would collapse without the support. When ripe, the cheese has the texture and richness of fondue. It is only available from October through to early spring. It's made from the milk of cows raised in the mountains of France (where the cheese is usually referred to as Mont d'Or) and Switzerland (where it's known as Vacherin Mont d'Or). Both types are made under strict regulations about when and where it can be produced and how long it needs to be brined and ripened. In Switzerland, Vacherin Mont d'Or is made from thermised milk (similar to pasteurised but heated at a cooler 55 degrees Celsius) while in France, it's a raw-milk cheese. If it isn't ripe, the flavour can be slightly waxy, rather than rich, buttery and mildly salty-sweet. It has a fat content of 50 per cent so it's not great for dieters unless you have the willpower to limit yourself to just one bite. To serve, let it warm to room temperature (if it is refrigerated), remove the soft, wrinkled top rind (which usually has a reddish tinge) and scoop the cheese from the box. It's often served as raclette is: spooned onto bread or over raw or blanched vegetables and boiled young potatoes. Vacherin Mont d'Or sold at Great (tel: 2918 9986) in Pacific Place and can be ordered from Fico (tel: 2404 3895).