Pronunciation: [reh-bluh-SHOHN deuh SAH-vwah]
This uncooked, washed rind French cows'-milk cheese has a couple of explanations for the derivation of its name. One relates to reblocher reblessa, which means "to steal" in a local dialect. Both point to the late Middle Ages, when farmers used milk to pay rent and/or taxes. When tax collectors or landlords arrived, the farmer would pretend to milk the cows until they were dry and pay up. After the officials had left, the farmer would remilk the supposedly dry cows. This second milking had a higher butterfat content, which produced rich, creamy cheeses. Reblochon has a creamy-soft texture that becomes oozy as the cheese ripens. The flavor is rich, complex and savory. Reblochon has a beige to reddish-orange rind with velvety white mold and an ivory interior. It's sold in 8½-ounce to 1¼-pound wheels. Reblochon is made from raw milk, and if it's ripened for less than 60 days it is not currently allowed into the United States. The imported version, Fromage de Savoie, is made with pasteurized milk and not considered as good. See also cheese.
From The Food Lover's Companion, Fourth edition by Sharon Tyler Herbst and Ron Herbst. Copyright © 2007, 2001, 1995, 1990 by Barron's Educational Series, Inc.