Photograph of Reblochon
Map of France showing the location of Savoie

A pinkish-brown rind with a supple, creamy paste and a mild, milky flavour.

Made using cows' milk Made using unpasteurised milk

Reblochon derives from the word 'reblocher' which when literally translated means 'to pinch a cow's udder again'. Although graphic, this refers to the practice of holding back some of the milk from the first milking. During the 14th century, the landowners would tax the mountain farmers according to the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would therefore not fully milk the cows until after the landowner had measured the yield. The milk that remains is much richer, and was traditionally used by the dairymaids to make their own cheese. The Chartreux monks would bless the houses of the mountain peasants in return for these "cheeses of devotion".

Reblochon is traditionally made from the mild of three breeds of cattle, the Abondance, Montbéliarde and the Tarine. It was decreed as an A.O.C. cheese in 1958 and is therefore subject to certain regulations to ensure the preservation of its name, quality and status. This includes renneting within 24 hours of the last milking and bringing the milk to the place of production as soon as possible after milking.

The flavour of Reblochon is delicate and subtle. It is a very fresh tasting cheese and the smell also reflects this. The paste is smooth and ivory coloured, with a supple texture. The natural rind varies from yellow to orange and usually has a light covering of white mould.

Each cheese is 9-14 cm in diameter, 3-3.5 cm high, weighs 240 - 550g and has a fat content of 45%. Affinage (maturation) takes only 2-4 weeks. Although it can be made on an industrial scale as indicated by a red label, ours is a fermier cheese, denoted by the green casein label on the rind. This means that the whole production is carried out on one farm and milk from neighbouring farms is not allowed. Each Reblochon comes sandwiched between two wafer thin wooden discs. Reblochon is excellent on the cheeseboard, perhaps with a glass of Savoie wine, or can be enjoyed when melted on baked potatoes. It was made famous by the recently invented Tartiflette, a wonderful potato gratin.

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