Mountain cheese, also known as alpage or alpine cheese, is well-known for its unique, complex flavours, and at AliKats we can’t get enough of it!
To help you tell your Tomme from your Comté, we’re celebrating a different cheese each month by giving you a bite-sized snapshot to nibble on. This month join us for a little bite of Reblochon…
Reblochon cheese (pronounced: re-blosh-on)isa local savoyard cheese made by age-old traditions and methods from raw cow’s milk. This is the cheese you find on your tartiflette – the local dish of gratin potatoes, bacon (lardons), and onions, which has become a skier’s favourite for a hearty lunch.
Reblochon derives from the word “reblocher” which when literally translated means “to pinch a cow’s udder again”. This refers to the practice of wise farmers who held back some of the milk from their first milking, to avoid high taxes. During the 14th century, the landowners would tax the mountain farmers according to the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would therefore not fully milk the cows until after the landowner had measured the yield. The milk that remains is much richer, and was traditionally used by the dairymaids to make their own cheese.
Did you know, Reblochon is not only a holey cheese, but also a holy cheese! In the 16th century, it became known as “fromage de dévotion” (devotional cheese) because it was offered to the Carthusian monks of the Thônes Valley by the farmers, in return for having their homesteads blessed.
How to eat it: Reblochon has a nutty taste and is perfect with potatoes, but if you don’t have time to make a tartiflette, then just put a big chunk of it in a jacket potato for a simple but delicious lunch. Yum!