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Southern France
Lynn Deasy is a freelance writer, author, foodie, and garden tinkerer. She lives in a 600 year old house in southern France with her husband, Christophe. Currently, she is looking for a literary agent for her memoir CA VA? STORIES FROM RURAL LIFE IN SOUTHERN FRANCE which examines the oddities of French provincial living from an outsider’s point of view through a series of adventures that provide more than a fair share of frustration, education, admiration, and blisters…. yes, lots and lots of blisters. Lynn blogs every Monday, Wednesday, and sometimes Friday.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Cheese: Reblochon

As January slowly moves past, and February threatens snow and cold in France, one thing is on many people’s minds: spending the winter vacation skiing.  France is full of ski lodges from high in the Alps to south in the Pyrenees Mountains, and after a long day of hitting the slopes one hungers for a filling dish as satisfying as a day on the mountain.  That is when one’s mind starts to drift to a tartiflette.  A ski lodge favorite, tartiflette is a winter time dish that consists of sliced sautéed potatoes, caramelized onions, smoky bacon, and a little white wine drenched in a melted rich cheese that harmonizes all the ingredients together, and that cheese is none other than reblochon.
            Reblochon is another cheese from the Haute-Savoie region that is Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée.  This region is north of Italy and just west of Switzerland with pastoral lands that are at least 500 meters in altitude.  Reblochon is a pressed, uncooked cheese made from unpasteurized cow’s milk; it is soft, flat, and round and weighs roughly just over a pound.  Reblochon is unique, not only for its creamy, mild flavor, but also because it is produced twice a day directly after milking and is made using milk from a single herd.
             This cheese was first produced in the 13th Century and during that time, any farmer who rented land in the region paid the landowner according to the amount of milk produced.  When the landowner would come to measure the milk, the farmer would only partially milk the cows.  Then, once the landowner was gone, the farmer would re-milk or reblocher the herd.  The milk from this second milking was creamier and richer in fat, and was then used to create the cheese known today as reblochon.


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