Reblochon Cheese is a soft, washed-rind cheese with a mild taste.
Its light beige to orangey-yellow rind, which is edible, has white mould on it. The surface texture of the rind comes from the cheesecloth used during making the cheese.
Reblochon is made in the Thônes and Maurienne valleys in Savoie, France. Whole, unpasteurized cow’s milk is used, coming from the breeds of cows known as Abondance, Montbéliarde or Tarine.
Five litres (approx. 5 US quarts) of milk is used to make each cheese, which weighs from 16 to 19 oz (450 to 550 g.)
To make Reblochon Cheese the milk is warmed in a huge copper pot, then rennet is added to curdle it. The curd is cut, then raked till it is just the size of grains of rice. The curd is poured into moulds lined with cheesecloth that allows the whey to drain off (the whey is used to make whey butter.) The curd is evened out in the moulds by hand. The curd is allowed to let sit for half an hour, then the mass of curds are turned while still in the moulds.
Labels, either red or green, are pressed into them at this stage. A red label indicates that the cheese was made in a co-op or a factory. These cheeses are called “Reblochon Fruitier.” A green label indicates a farmhouse version. These versions are called “Reblochon Fermier de Savoie.”
The nascent cheeses are then pressed by a 5 pound (2.2 kg) weight of cast iron placed on top of each cheese.
The cheeses are then dunked in brine briefly and aged a minimum of 4 weeks at 60 F (16 C.) During this time, every two days the cheeses are turned and washed with whey. Some cheeses are aged 6 to 8 weeks.
Fontina, Port Salut, Gruyere, Crémier de Chaumes, Epoisses, mature Irish Ardrahan.
Some speculate that Reblochon originated in the 1200s, but the first written mention of it is in 1699.
Farmers had to pay their landlords an amount based on how much milk the cows yielded. When such a payment was due, and the owner was around to collect it, they’d only partially milk the cows.
Then, they’d milk them a second time once the owner had left. The second milking was higher in fat.
The cheese received its French AOC in 1958.
“Reblocher” in local Savoie dialect means to milk a cow a second time.