Reblochon

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Reblochon
Reblochon AOC.jpg
Country of origin France
Region Alps valley, Arly valley (Aravis Range)
Source of milk Cows
Pasteurised No
Texture Soft washed-rind, smear-ripened[1]
Fat content 45%
Weight 450 g (avg)
Aging time 6-8 weeks
Certification French AOC 1958

Reblochon (French pronunciation: ​[ʁə.blɔ.ʃɔ̃] is a French cheese from the Alps produced in the region of Savoy (departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie) and has been granted the AOC title. Reblochon was first produced in the Thônes and Arly valleys, in the Aravis massif. Thônes remains the centre of Reblochon production; the cheeses are still made in the local cooperatives. Until 1964 Reblochon was also produced in Italian areas of the Alps. Subsequently the Italian cheese has been sold in declining quantities under such names as Rebruchon and Reblò alpino.

History[edit]

Reblochon derives from the word 'reblocher' which when literally translated means 'to pinch a cow's udder again'. 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.

In the 16th century the cheese also became known as "fromage de dévotion" (devotional cheese) because it was offered to the Carthusian monks of the Thônes Valley by the farmers, in return for having their homesteads blessed.

Raw-milk Reblochon has not been available in the United States since 2004 due to the enforcement of laws concerning the pasteurization of soft and semi-soft cheese.[2] Delice du Jura, a pasteurized soft ripened cheese, is a close relative and a good substitute in the United States.[3]

Characteristics[edit]

Farmhouse Reblochon, drying before ripening

Reblochon is a soft washed-rind and smear-ripened[4] cheese traditionally made from raw cow's milk. The cow breeds best for producing the milk needed for this cheese are the Abondance, Tarentaise and the Montbéliarde. This cheese measures 14 cm across and 3–4 cm thick, has a soft centre with a washed rind and weighs an average of 450 grams (16 oz). As proof of its being well-aged in an airy cellar, the rind of this cheese is covered with a fine white mould. The optimal period to savour this cheese is between May and September after it has been aged six to eight weeks.[citation needed] It is also excellent from March to December.[citation needed]

Reblochon has a nutty taste that remains in mouth after its soft and uniform centre has been enjoyed. It is an essential ingredient of tartiflette, a Savoyard gratin made from potatoes, bacon (lardons), and onions. In 2002, 17.4 million kilograms of Reblochon were produced.[citation needed]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Fox, Patrick. Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology. p. 200.
  2. ^ Janet Fletcher (2005-05-04). "French cheeses fall victim to import rules". The San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 2008-10-05. [In] November [2004], the FDA issued a revised statement on soft cheeses from France, enlarging the category to include semi-soft and soft-ripened cheeses. (...) the French government agreed that cheeses defined as soft – a Reblochon, for example, by the new U.S. interpretation – would be considered unsuitable for sale if aged more than 60 days. 
  3. ^ "Le Delice du Jura". Cheese, a daily diary. Retrieved Jan 13, 2012. 
  4. ^ Fox, Patrick. Cheese: Chemistry, Physics and Microbiology. p. 200.

External links[edit]