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