BLUE WINDOW | Food Travels in the Alps | Alpine Cheeses | Reblochon de Savoie

A long time ago the monks of the monastery at Abondance in the high mountains above Lac Leman created pastures in the Chablais valley and developed a breed of cow that would produce high quantities of milk, to allow them to make cheese.

This alpine cheese was popular, and famous, served at high table in Avignon during the period when the popes reigned during the 1300s. At this time farmers were obliged to pay tax to landowners based on the volume of milk produced. To pay less the farmers in the Thônes valley partially milked their cows, then went back to collect the milk that was used for cheese. This became known as the re-blocher method, pinching the udder a second time.

The AOC for reblochon was awarded in 1958. The cheese is now produced above an altitude of 500 metres in Haute-Savoie and Savoy, formed into 500 gram rounds. Delicately arranged on its thin circle of spruce, it is the essential ingredient for several traditional dishes of the region, especially clafoutis and tartiflette.