Monday, January 24, 2011

Fromage - Reblochon

 Cheese monger Steve Jenkins, author of  The Cheese Primer, describes Reblochon as “a triumph of cheesemaking—its rind is like the velvet on a deer’s antler, its flavor like filet mignon.”  Reblochon (ruh-bloe-SHAW), which comes in 1”-high, 5 ½”-wide wheels, is a raw cow’s milk cheese from France that is aged about 50 days—ten days shy of the FDA's minimum requirement for legal sale in the U.S.

Reblochon comes only from the eastern slopes of the Haute-Savoie – plus one small adjacent valley in Savoie near the swiss border, high in the Alps. The cheese is made by mixing the milks of three different breeds of cow : abondance, tarine, and montbéliarde.

 The birth of this fascinating cheese is due to the ingenuity of the Savoie herdsmen. In the 13th century, the farmers were completely dependent on landowners who insisted that all the herd's milk was their property. At milking time, the herdsmen did not quite complete the milking. After the controllers had left, the herdsmen finished the milking.  From this the cheese was made with the creamy milk of a second milking. Reblochon derives from the word 'reblocher' which when literally translated means 'to pinch a cow's udder again'.

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