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The history of Reblochon cheese and how to eat it

Round disc of Reblochon cheese from France

Rebochon is one of the tastiest cheeses of France. It’s made in the mountains of the Haute Savoie from cows milk. The name Reblochon derives from the word ‘reblocher’ which literally translated means: ‘to pinch a cow’s udder again’.

The origins of Reblochon cheese

So just where did how did this scrumptious cheese get its name? Reblochon comes from the practice of holding back some of the milk from the first milking. During the 14th century, landowners would tax the mountain farmers according to the amount of milk their herds produced. Canny farmers didn’t fully milk the cows until after the landowner had measured the yield. The milk that remains is much richer and makes for the creamy taste of Reblochon.

In the 16th century Reblochon became known as “fromage de dévotion” (devotional cheese). 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

Reblochon is a cheese classically associated with the idea of winter. Coming from the Aravis massif, in the region of Haute-Savoie, Reblochon  became an Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée in 1958. It is made with the unpasteurized milk of alpine cows. There are 150 farmers producing the Reblochon AOC. They feed their animals mainly with grass in summer and hay in winter, giving the milk its natural taste. They honour traditional rules of production and maturation. The thin spruce wood plank on which the cheese is packed allows a natural regulation of humidity.

How to taste the Reblochon

At home,  Reblochon should be kept in a cool place (10-12° c) and is best eaten in the 10 days following the purchase. Leave it at room temperature for two hours before eating. Reblochon AOC is perfect for winter dishes as the classic “Tartiflette”, a delicious baked gratin that’s traditional in Haute Savoie. Alone, Reblochon can be matched with many bread varieties and goes well with the wine of Savoie. It’s also very nice with nuts or dried fruits  like fig, raisin or apricot.

The most delicious Tartiflette recipe you can make at home