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A Secret History of Reblochon

7 October 2018 — Cheese Facts, Cheesemakers, Features

‘Pinch a cow’s udder again…’

No we haven’t eaten so much cheese that we’ve lost our grasp on reality, this is simply the translation of the word ‘Reblochon’, which derives from the French word ‘reblocher’, or ‘re-milk’ because the milk used to make the cheese isn’t from the first milking in the morning, but actually the second milking, later in the day, which gives Reblochon its gorgeous, creamy Alpine taste.

Reblochon was first produced in the Thones and Arly valleys, in the Savoy region of France. Thones remains the centre of Reblochon production and the cheeses are still produced there till this day under strict AOC guidelines. However, the history behind the milking and cheese-making process tells of a more dubious story…

During the 13th century, the landowners would visit the farmers and tax them according to the amount of milk their herds were producing. However, what the landowners didn’t know was that the farmers had only half-milked the cows before the inspection. Once the landowner had measured the yield, the farmers would then milk their cows a second time and enjoy a heavily reduced ‘tax bill’. A little bit of early tax avoidance some might say! The farmers were then in a position to use the second round of much richer milk to produce their own cheese which we now enjoy as ‘Reblochon’. 

What’s it taste like? Reblochon has a wonderful creamy nutty taste and an almost patisserie looking fine white mould-covered rind.

Why not have a go at making these delicious dishes, of which can be found in our Recipe Book?

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