Reblochon is a wonderful mountain cheese produced in the Haute Savoie/Rhône Alps region of France.
Originally, Reblochon was an invention of the Savoie herdsmen, when 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 and, after the bosses had left, returned to extract a little more milk from the cows. The name Reblochon is derived from the French verb "reblocher" which means to squeeze a cow's udder again.
Reblochon is therefore made with the creamy milk of a second milking. After production, the cheeses are put into a cellar to dry, turned every two days, and washed with whey to aid the development of the rind.
Milk comes from the Montbeliard, Abondance and Tarine breed of cow and must be brought to the place of production as quickly as possible. Renneting must be done within 24 hours of the last milking.
The cheese is produced in one of 20 small factories, or in 180 farmhouse (fermier) facilities. The fermier version bears a distinctive green casein label. Recommended producers are: Albert Thabius, Edelmont, Fromagerie Joseph Paccard, Lactalis, L'Alpage, Les Producteurs de Reblochon de Thones, Societe Laiterie des hauts de Savoie.
Reblochon is a beautifully proportioned cheese with a thin, orange-yellow to pink, close textured, velvety rind.
The paste is very smooth, supple and ivory in color. Flavors are mildly fruity, with a bacon-like tone. It has a nutty aftertaste that contrasts with an aroma of the cellar.
AOC was granted in 1976.