WHAT IS REBLOCHON?
This fromage is made in the French Savoie region of France. Only the milk from Abondance, Montbeliard and Tarine cows is used. Reblochon is a bit unusual in that its rind is washed with whey. After the cheese has been aged for about a month, a nutty, yellow interior balances out the bite of its orange skin. It is made in 2 sizes, the larger wheel is around a pound while the smaller disc is half as big. This cheese is the third most popular traditionally made fromage made in France. Despite this, the raw milk versions of this reblochon have been banned in the USA. This is because all non-pasteurized cheeses must be aged for over 60 days prior to entering the States. A pasteurized substitute called Delice du Jura is instead imported.
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WHERE IS REBLOCHON MADE?
The officially designated raw milk version is made exclusively in the Haute-Savoie mountains and Val d’Arly region of Savoie, France.
WHY IS REBLOCHON THE DAIRY PATRON SAINT OF TAX EVASION?
The origin of the name is from the French verb reblocher meaning to squeeze or pinch a cow’s udder a second time. In the 1200s Savoie farmers were taxed based on the amount of milk their cows produced. So on the day that the taxman arrived, farmers would deliberately undermilk their cows. Then after the tax man left the cows were reblocher or milked a second time that morning (tax free!).
WHAT CAN I PAIR WITH REBLOCHON?
Try a slice of Beaufort d’Alpage next to a bit of Tomme de Savoie for an Alpine cheese pairing. If you want your washed rind cheese board to be more international, look at Durrus from Ireland and an Ubriaco from Italy. In terms of recipes, the Alpine locals love to use this cheese in tartiflette. Like with many French washed rinds, a Shiraz or robust Cabernet Sauvignon does well. Champagne is another nice choice for special events.