Milk: Raw cow's milk
Animal breed: Tarine, Abondance and Montbeliarde
Size of cheese: 14cm
Location: Haute-Savoie, Rhone-Alpes
Season: All year
The birth of Reblochon dates back to the 13th century, when Savoyard landlords would collect milk from tenant farmers as land tax. To dodge payment, farmers would withhold some of their yield, resuming milking after the landlords had left. They used the remainder to make cheese for themselves. The verb 'reblocher' - which describes the way they would pinch the cow's udder to stem the flow of milk - gave the cheese its name. Cheeses are made twice a day and the recipe is quickly executed and quickly ripened. Reblochon comes predominantly from the eastern slopes of the Haute Savoie, practically on the Swiss border. The milk comes from 3 Alpine breeds of cow, Abondance, Montbeliarde or Tarine, herds of which are walked up to flower-rich mountain pastures above the snow line in May, returning to their villages in October. Reblochon are washed briefly with a whey solution before being left to grow a light dusting of white mould. They should taste light, fresh, delicate and have gentle clean, milky, creme fraiche acidity and a supple, slouchy paste.