Reblochon

Reblochon

Origin

From the Savoie region, Reblochon is the product of Savoie farmers’ ingenuity… and of fraud. It first appeared in the Thônes valley in the pastures of the chalky Alpine foothills of the Aravis massif, where farmers pastured their cows and paid the land owners depending on how much milk was produced, hence the reason why they were not always truthful!
Thus, Reblochon was born from “reblache”, i.e., a second milking.

Characteristics

- AOC since 1958.
- A whole, raw milk, uncooked and lightly pressed.
- 45% minimum fat content.
- Grand Reblochon: flat cylinder 13 cm in diameter and 3.5-cm thick.
- Weight: between minimum 450 g and maximum 550 g.
- Petit Reblochon: 9 cm in diameter and 3-cm thick, weighing between 240 g and 280 g.
- The rind is saffron-coloured, slightly orange with a thin white bloom.
- Production in 1997: 16,900 tonnes.

Gastronomie

Young, fruity white wines like those from Savoie (Crépy, Abymes, Roussette) perfectly enhance Reblochon’s delicate flavours.
While Reblochon gives a mild and fragrant flavour to pies and other foods with fillings, the real delicacy from Savoie is tartiflette, made from potatoes, lardons, onions, and of course, Reblochon. Especially delicious when the cows are put to pasture, in summer and in autumn. Goes perfectly with white wines from Savoie (Crépy, Abymes). 

Production

After milking, the milk is heated and rennetted, then the curd is carefully cut into small grains that are divided into the moulds. Then it is washed with an annatto solution and regularly turned. After two to three weeks in a cool cellar, it can be eaten without restraint! A weight placed on the cheese for several hours completes the draining process and gently presses the cheese. After brining (a bath of water saturated with salt), Reblochon is placed in a drying room for four to five days. 

Reblochon first appeared in the Thônes valley in the 13th century. Every farmer owed the owner of the pastures that his herds passed through compensation that was proportional to the amount of milk produced. Thus, the day where the owner would come to measure milk production, the farmer would not milk his cows completely. Once the owner left, milking would be completed. The milk from the second milking, which is high in fat, was immediately used to make Reblochon. In the 1920s, the Grand-Bornand market was especially busy. However, what was peculiar about it was what would happen there at night: highlanders and traders would meet up there every week starting at half past midnight. 

Production Area

Reblochon’s region is spread out over the verdant Aravis range, the Rochois region, and the Abondance valley in Savoie and Haute-Savoie.
The harsh climate necessitates hardy breeds of cows: Tarine, Montbeliarde, and Abondance. Enriched by the wide variety of alpine flora, their creamy milk gives Reblochon a soft, fruity flavour. 

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