Nestled within the majesty of the French Alps lies a culinary gem that captures the very essence of this mountainous region: Reblochon de Savoie. This artisanal cheese, as rich in history as it is in flavor, is a testament to the traditional cheese-making techniques preserved by generations of dedicated cheesemakers.
In this post, we’ll take a journey into the heart of the Savoy region, uncovering the secrets behind the creation of this unique cheese. We’ll explore its origins, delve into its complex taste profile, and even provide insights on how you can savor it at its best.
Quick Facts About Reblochon de Savoie
|Origin||Haute-Savoie region in the French Alps|
|Type of Milk||Raw cow’s milk|
|Flavor Profile||Nutty, mild fruity with a hint of cream and grass|
|Color||Yellow to orange rind with a creamy white interior|
|Weight||Typically 450 grams to 500 grams|
|Aging Time||Minimum of 4 weeks|
|PDO Status||Protected since 1958|
|Famous Dishes||Tartiflette, a traditional Savoyard dish|
What is Reblochon?
Reblochon is a fascinating, semi-soft, washed-rind cheese that hails from the Haute-Savoie region in the French Alps. This flavorful cheese carries with it a rich history and a unique tradition that dates back centuries. It’s an essential part of the culinary heritage of France and holds a special place in the hearts (and palates) of cheese enthusiasts worldwide.
Made from raw cow’s milk, Reblochon has a distinctive nutty flavor, with a hint of creaminess and a mild fruity undertone. Its texture is smooth and velvety, making it a delight to eat on its own or as part of various dishes. The rind of the cheese is washed during the maturation process, giving it a yellow-orange hue that contrasts beautifully with the creamy white interior.
One of the unique aspects of Reblochon is its Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) status. This means that all cheese labeled as Reblochon must be produced in specific regions of France, following strict regulations regarding the type of milk used, the processing methods, and the aging process. This helps maintain the quality and authenticity of each wheel of Reblochon cheese.
The cheese is often used in a traditional Savoyard dish called Tartiflette, which combines potatoes, onions, bacon, and generous slices of Reblochon. As the cheese melts, it lends a luxurious creaminess to the dish, making it a comforting choice for cold winter days.
The truth is, Reblochon de Savoie is more than just a cheese; it’s a celebration of tradition, craftsmanship, and the rich flavors of the French Alps. Whether enjoyed on a cheese board or melted in a hearty Tartiflette, Reblochon is sure to delight the senses and leave a lasting impression.
What Does Reblochon Taste Like?
Reblochon cheese is renowned for its complex and unique flavor profile. It has a creamy, soft texture that melts in your mouth, releasing a symphony of flavors.
Reblochon has a delicate, fruity taste with a slight nutty undertone. The flavor can be described as mild yet rich, with a wonderful balance between sweetness and earthiness. Some even detect a hint of grass or hay, reflecting the lush Alpine pastures where the cows graze.
The rind, which is edible, adds another layer of flavor. It’s washed during the aging process, which gives it a slightly tangy, yeasty taste that complements the creaminess of the cheese.
As the cheese ages, it develops more pronounced flavors. A well-matured Reblochon will have a more robust, full-bodied flavor compared to a younger one. Regardless of its age, Reblochon is always delightfully aromatic and savory.
Reblochon de Savoie Tasting Notes
- Texture: Reblochon has a semi-soft, creamy texture that melts smoothly in your mouth.
- Flavor: The cheese offers a mild, yet rich flavor profile. It’s slightly sweet with a balancing earthiness.
- Fruity Undertones: Reblochon is known for its delicate fruity undertones, which add to its complexity and charm.
- Nutty Notes: A subtle nutty note can also be detected, adding another layer of flavor.
- Grassy Hints: Some tasters may pick up on a hint of grass or hay, a reflection of the lush Alpine pastures where the cows graze.
- Rind Flavor: The rind of the cheese, which is edible, gives a slightly tangy, yeasty taste that complements the creaminess of the cheese.
- Aging Influence: As the cheese ages, it develops a more robust, full-bodied flavor. A well-matured Reblochon will have a more intense flavor compared to a younger one.
- Aroma: Reblochon is delightfully aromatic, offering a savory scent that’s a good indicator of its rich flavor.
Is Reblochon the Same as Brie?
While Reblochon and Brie are both types of French cheese, they are not the same and have distinct differences in terms of origin, texture, flavor, and production method.
|Origin||Haute-Savoie region in the French Alps||Brie region of France, near Paris|
|Texture||Semi-soft, creamy texture||Soft, almost runny texture when ripe|
|Flavor||Mild yet rich flavor with fruity undertones and a slight nuttiness||Rich, buttery, and slightly earthy flavor|
|Production Method||Made from raw cow’s milk and has a washed rind||Often made from pasteurized cow’s milk and has a bloomy, edible rind|
|PDO status||Yes, must be produced in specific regions of France following strict regulations||Yes, must be produced in specific regions of France following strict regulations|
How to Eat Reblochon?
- On a Cheese Board: Reblochon can be served on a cheese board along with a variety of other cheeses, fruits, nuts, and breads. Its creamy texture and rich flavor make it a great addition to any cheese platter.
- Cooked Dishes: Reblochon is traditionally used in a French dish known as “Tartiflette”, a hearty dish made with potatoes, onions, bacon, and Reblochon.
- With Wine: Pair Reblochon with a full-bodied white wine or a light red wine. The flavors of the cheese pair well with the notes in these types of wines.
- On Bread: Spread a slice of Reblochon on a warm piece of baguette for a simple yet delicious treat.
- In Salads: Dice or crumble Reblochon and sprinkle it over salads for a creamy, flavorful addition.
- In Sandwiches: Add slices of Reblochon to sandwiches for a gourmet touch. It melts well, making it a great choice for grilled cheese sandwiches.
- With Fruits: Pair Reblochon with fruits like apples and pears for a sweet and savory snack.
- Baked Reblochon: You can bake a whole Reblochon until it’s soft and serve it with crusty bread for dipping.
Note: it’s best to serve Reblochon at room temperature to fully appreciate its flavor and texture.
Where to Buy Reblochon?
7 Best Reblochon Substitutes
|Brie||Brie has a similar creamy texture to Reblochon and a mild, buttery flavor. It’s also widely available.|
|Camembert||Camembert is another soft, creamy cheese with a rich flavor. It’s a bit more intense than Reblochon but works well in most recipes.|
|Fontina||This Italian cheese has a nutty, mild flavor and melts well, making it a good substitute for Reblochon in cooked dishes.|
|Taleggio||Taleggio is an Italian cheese with a strong aroma but a relatively mild flavor. It’s creamy and melts well.|
|Munster||Munster is a soft cheese with a strong flavor and aroma. It melts well, so it can be used in recipes that call for melted Reblochon.|
|Robiola||This Italian cheese is creamy and mild, similar to Reblochon. It can be used as a spread or in recipes.|
|Gruyère||Gruyère is a hard cheese with a nutty flavor. It doesn’t have the same creaminess as Reblochon, but it melts well and can be used in cooking.|
What Pairs Well With Reblochon?
Food that goes well with Reblochon:
|Breads||Baguette, Whole Grain Bread, Rye Bread, Ciabatta|
|Fruits||Apples, Pears, Grapes, Dried Figs, Apricots|
|Vegetables||Roasted Potatoes, Caramelized Onions, Sauteed Mushrooms, Fresh Arugula|
|Meats||Prosciutto, Salami, Smoked Ham, Bacon|
|Nuts||Walnuts, Almonds, Hazelnuts, Pecans|
|Spreads||Fig Jam, Honey, Apple Butter, Quince Paste|
|Grains||Quinoa, Brown Rice, Farro, Couscous|
|Condiments||Whole Grain Mustard, Balsamic Reduction, Truffle Oil, Olive Tapenade|
|Others||Dark Chocolate, Olives, Pickles, Sun-dried Tomatoes|
Also read: What Fruit Goes on a Charcuterie Board?
Beverage that goes well with Reblochon:
|Wine||Savoie White, Chardonnay, Beaujolais, Pinot Noir|
|Beer||Belgian Pale Ale, Wheat Beer, Amber Ale, Stout|
|Spirits||Brandy, Whisky, Cognac, Armagnac|
|Non-alcoholic||Sparkling Water, Apple Cider, Grape Juice, Herbal Tea|
Frequently Asked Questions
1. Can I eat the rind of Reblochon cheese?
Yes, the rind of Reblochon cheese is edible. The rind is typically light beige to orangey-yellow in color and may have white mold on it, which is also safe to consume. Some cheese enthusiasts even believe that you would miss out on some flavors if you didn’t eat the rind.
However, while the rind is edible, whether or not you choose to eat it can come down to personal preference. Some people find the taste and texture of the rind enjoyable, while others do not.
2. Can you eat Reblochon raw?
Yes, Reblochon cheese can be eaten raw.
Please note that while many people enjoy raw cheeses, certain individuals (such as pregnant women, elderly individuals, very young children, and those with weakened immune systems) are often advised to avoid them due to the risk of foodborne illness.
3. Is Reblochon a raclette cheese?
Reblochon is not a raclette cheese, but it can be used in a similar way to raclette cheese. Both are types of cheese that melt well and are often used in traditional French and Swiss dishes.
Raclette is a semi-hard cheese made from cow’s milk that is most commonly used for the Swiss dish of the same name, where it is melted and scraped onto potatoes, pickles, and meat. Reblochon, on the other hand, is a soft washed-rind and smear-ripened cheese from the Alpine region of Savoy in France. It has a creamy texture and a nutty taste.
While Reblochon is not traditionally used for raclette, its creamy texture makes it a good choice for melting over potatoes or in a gratin, similar to how raclette cheese is used. It’s also frequently used as a substitute for raclette in various recipes.
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