Reblochon – The Cheese Name With Quite a Story

Reblochon Cheese is From the Haute-Savoie Region and is AOC Accredited:

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Reblochon Cheese by Myrabella/Wiki

We first came across Reblochon cheese when we were travelling in Annecy. This soft washed-rind and smear-ripened French cheese is a specialty of the Haute-Savoie region and so as cheese lovers we had some of this delicious cheese.

Reblochon was first produced in the Thônes valley in the 13th century and up to this day, Thônes remains the centre of Reblochon production in the Haute-Savoie.

How Reblochon Got its Name is Quite a Story

How the Reblochon cheese got its name is quite a funny story. Reblochon owes its name to a little fraud known locally as ‘Rebloche’ because in the Patois dialect ‘Re-Bloch’ means “to pinch the cow’s udder a second time”.  But before you cry “too much information”, it’s really not as bad as you think.  

The Reblochon Story

In the 13th century, the peasant farmers had to pay an ociège (an excise) to the landlords, who were mostly nobles and monks.  In regard to the milk they produced, the excise was based on the number of pots of milk produced in a day. So on the day of the landlord’s visit, the crafty farmers devised a scheme to not do a complete milking of the cows so as to minimize the payment to the landlord. Once the greedy, grasping landlord had left, the farmers would milk the cow a second time. The milk produced in the second milking was not abundant, but they found that it was very rich in cream and therefore ideal for making cheese. Et voila, Reblochon cheese.

Reblochon Festival

Long gone are the days of the Rebloche tax-minimization scheme.   The Reblochon cheese has achieved the esteemed AOC status and it also has its own festival. In August each year, the town of La Clusaz celebrates a day-long Festival Reblochon with food, bread-making, freshly made Reblochon, concerts and dancing, much like the Rocamadour Fetes des Fromages.  Each year some 6,000 visitors descend on the greens of Bossonnet to recapture the spirit of the bygone days and to enjoy the famous local specialities.

Address:
Festival Reblochon
The Bossonnet
Upper Village
74220 La Clusaz

Map of La Clusaz:

What about you? What do you think?

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