Originating in the Aravis Massif of Savoy, reblochon was born in the 13th century in the Thônes valley. Farmers, forced to continually pay the landowner of the alpine pasture a rate representing a percentage of the milk they produced, decided one day to only partially milk their cows in order to lower their rental payments. Once the landowner had left, the farmers carried out a second milking from which they obtained milk very high in fat. The name “reblochon” comes from the verb “re-blocher,” meaning to squeeze the cow’s udder a second time. The cheese is best in the summer and fall.
There are two kinds: farm-made reblochon with a green casein stamp on the rind, produced exclusively in alpine pastures or in farms of the Thônes region; and dairy-produced reblochon with a red label, made in cheese dairies in the designated regions of origin.
Cheese produced from whole raw milk from Montbeliard, Tarine or Abondance cows.
The milk, from the morning and evening’s second milkings, is heated in a large copper kettle until it curdles. It is then cut with a special comb until the cheese curds are reduced to pieces the size of rice grains. This fresh cheese is then placed into molds and covered with cheesecloth. The whey is collected for butter to be extracted.
The molding is done by hand.
The cheeses are then pressed to remove the whey. Each cheese is covered by a larch disk and a 2.5 kg (5 lb.) iron weight is placed on top to compress the curd and give the cheese its definitive shape. The cheese is then unmolded and put into a brine bath.
Aged in a ripening room for 2 to 5 weeks at a temperature not exceeding 16° C, each cheese must be turned every two days.
The cheese is creamy with a slightly nutty flavor.
It is lightly pressed, uncooked and supple, ivory yellow in color and streaked with small fissures.
The rind is thin and smooth, yellowish-pink in color.
The cheesecloth that lines the molds gives the cheese its “grain.”
At the end of the ripening period, the cheese has a thin saffron-yellow rind covered with a fine white “moss” that attests to its aging in a cool cellar.
Placed unwrapped on a wooden circle, the cheese is a flattened cylinder less than 3 cm (1 1/4”) thick, weighing approximately 450 g (1 lb.).
Farm production is indicated by a little green circle.
Not very salty, with a fruity, slightly nutty taste and hints of the alpine meadow
Very high, 50%
Cuisine of the Savoy
• Reblochon simply combined with potatoes becomes “tartiflette”
• Adding apples and hazelnuts before gratinéeing makes it a “rebloche”
• In Savoy homes, reblochon is often melted over embers, a variation of raclette
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