Marechal: A more recent addition to the world of alpine cheese

August 31, 2022 2 min read

Marechal: A more recent addition to the world of alpine cheese

Named to honour Emile Rapin (1852-1943), the great grandfather of the current cheesemakers Jean-Michel, Gregorie, Kevin & Mathias Rapin, Marechal is a new take on the traditional alpine cheese, having been born in the 1990s. Its recipe is very similar to cheese like Gruyere and indeed it is made in the heart of Gruyere country.  The supple, smooth buttery paste is a classic example of a hard pressed cooked cheese.

The difference comes in the way the milk is produced and how that is echoed in the curing of the rind: Linseed.

Firstly the 13 farms that supply their dairy use flax seeds and plants in the cows’ diets all year round.  This improves the cows’ digestion, much as feeding on spring grass does in an unsupplemented diet and reduces their methane output.  Happier cows, less indigestion and a happier planet. Secondly it has the effect that their milk and subsequently the cheese is a good source of Omega 3 fats which are protective to heart health 

The milk from these 13 local farms is delivered, still warm, to the dairy where it is cultured, rennet is added and once formed, the curd is cut to release whey.  In order to expel moisture, the curd is heated and then the smaller heated particles are drained in cloth lined moulds.

Once drained, the rinds of the cheeses are treated.  A brine solution is washed on with handfuls of flax flowers & hay cuttings.  Some linseeds are also added to the brine solution.  Curing the rind this way, seals it and allows the correct progression of microflora to form.  It also adds an element to the flavour of the cheese which becomes more pronounced as the cheese matures.  We usually aim to sell our Marechals around a year old in order to show this quality at its best.

Marechal has an intriguing grassy, herbaceous element with nutty undertones.  In moister cheeses this can take on an oniony or garlic finish.  In drier cheeses it remains more delicate and herbal.  In either case it is a delicious and intriguing quality that makes you want to go back for more.

Head to our online shop to give Marechal  a try.