This traditional cheese made with raw and whole cow milk, recognized by a Protected Designation of Origin (PDO), is undoubtedly one of the best known Cheeses of Savoy. If the famous specialty tartiflette, has largely contributed to its notoriety, the Reblochon de Savoie is also delicious in tray, for its pronounced taste, very fruity, and its dough greedy and unctuous.
Born in the 13th century in the Valley of Thônes in Haute-Savoie, the Reblochon of Savoy takes its name from the origins of its then illicit manufacture.
In the Middle Ages, very few farmers owned the farmland they exploited and they had to reward landowners for the right to graze their animals. This "right of use" is fixed by the owner according to the quantity of milk produced by the herd. In order to limit this tax, the farmers begin to practice an incomplete milking of their cows, which they finish from the owner out of sight.
In the absence of means of preservation and in order to conceal this fraud, the creamy milk collected is immediately transformed into cheese for the personal consumption of the farmer and his family.
This succulent cheese is naturally baptized "Reblochon" because, in Savoy patois, "re-block" means "pinch the udder of the cow a second time".
Because of its unlawful character, the term "Reblochon" did not officially appear in commercial transactions until 1699.
The Reblochon de Savoie is one of the first cheeses to obtain an AOC in 1958, now transformed into AOP (Protected Designation of Origin). Its production zone, located above 500 m of altitude, encompasses a large part of Haute-Savoie and the Val d'Arly region of Savoie.
Today, there are about 800 farms (including 150 farmers) producing milk for the manufacture of the Reblochon de Savoie, and its production occupies the 3rd place in volume of the French AOC.
The Reblochon de Savoie is exclusively made from raw milk and whole cows of local breeds Tarines, Abundances and Montbéliardes. It takes 5 liters of milk to make a Reblochon of Savoy about 500 g.
Farmers produce the Reblochon de Savoie immediately after milking their flocks, twice a day: morning and evening. The various stages of manufacture remain manual. Whether they are in alpine summer or in their farm in winter, they work 365 days a year to bring you on a plateau the fruity flavors of their know-how.
More generally, after milking, the milk is stored in tanks (large hermetic tanks refrigerated at 4 ° C) until the collection of fruit trees or dairies.
There, the milk undergoes several stages of transformation to end at the Reblochon of Savoy:
Caillage: the milk is curdled thanks to a natural rennet.
Cutting of the curd: the curdled milk is cut up until small grains are obtained, from the size of a grain of wheat to that of a grain of corn. A manual step for farmers, which requires a great deal of know-how.
Molding: the curds are poured into a mold and then pressed using weights to allow the cheese to drip.
Identification: a colored casein pellet is placed on each cheese to guarantee its origin of manufacture. It is red for the dairy and fruit reblochon, and green for the farmer Reblochon.
Salting: Reblochon de Savoie is soaked in a brine bath for 1 to 2 hours.
Refining: the Reblochon de Savoie is finally placed in the cellar for 3 to 4 weeks, where it will be returned every day and its washed rind several times. The care of the refiner, combined with the flora of the cellars and the action of the ferments, will result in a Reblochon of Savoy with the smooth and perfumed dough, with the sweet nutty aromas.
If the Reblochon de Savoie can be enjoyed throughout the year, its flavor is particularly peculiar in spring and summer when the cows graze in alpine pastures.
It is eaten slightly cooler than the ambient temperature, ideally around 16 ° C (take it out of the refrigerator about 2 hours before) and marries to perfection with a white Savoy wine such as Apremont, a Roussette or a Chignin-Bergeron , And rustic bread, with walnuts or other dry fruit.
Fondant and tasty, the Reblochon de Savoie has also given rise to many typical and convivial recipes, such as the Tartiflette *, which we like to share with family or friends.
Contrary to conventional wisdom, Reblochon de Savoie is relatively rich in water (over 50%) and slightly less fat than most cheeses (25% fat per 100 g of Reblochon). Its calcium intake combined with its high digestibility make it an ideal ally of the nutritional balance (a portion of 35 gr makes it possible to cover ¼ of the daily calcium requirements).
* The history of the tartiflette: this recipe has always existed in Haute-Savoie, but under the name of "Pela des Aravis" (potatoes, onions and reblochon). This peasant and rustic dish owes its name to the pan with long handle (pela) in which it is cooked. Made with leftover cheese, it is also known as "reblochon fricassee". In the 80's, the Syndicat Interprofessionnel du Reblochon gave this recipe to the taste by launching the tartiflette! This time it takes its name from tartifia, which means potato in Savoy. Directly inspired by the pela, it is adorned with bacon, white wine and is realized in the oven.
The Reblochon de Savoie rests on a thin washer of spruce allowing it to regulate its moisture and to retain its taste qualities. Keep it in its original packaging, at the bottom of the frigde.