Farm-produced Reblochon is always produced on the farm with certain specific characteristics: a single milk source, that of the farmer’s herd, and manual production, step by step. The processing must take place while the milk is still hot, straight after each milking, which is twice a day. This production method contributes towards preserving the lands, the economic fibre and authenticity of the mountains… while a very distinctive, creamy texture is created in the process !
How to spot it : a green pellet with the indication “fermier” on the packaging !
Get some behind-the-scenes insight into the production of farm-produced Reblochon :
Farm-produced Reblochon is manufactured twice a day on the farm using milk produced by a single farm herd.
The production process is entirely manual. The farm operations involved with processing their own milk into farm-produced Reblochon are small (generally between 20 and 60 cows)
Milking takes place twice a day and lasts between one and one and a half hours, depending on the size of the herd.
The milk is carried directly to a cheese making vat through a pipeline milking system.
At the end of the milking, rennet is added to the milk while it is still hot (32-35°C).
The rennet used is a natural enzyme allowing for coagulation of the milk proteins. The 40-minute waiting time is required for the milk to curdle.
The semi-solid mass obtained is called the “curds”.
The farmer manually slices through the curds using a curd cutter until the small pieces range from the size of a grain of rice to the size of a grain of corn.
The Reblochon moulds are arranged on a table and covered with a piece of linen cloth allowing for more even drainage and the preparation of an attractive rind.
The curds are then distributed amongst the moulds.
Once the curds have been distributed, a first turning takes place, still in the linen cloth. The cheese starts to take shape.
A casein pellet, green to identify it as farm-produced, is placed on each Reblochon cheese. This pellet bears the farm number as well as a number facilitating its traceability over time. Casein is a milk protein, so the pellet is entirely edible.
A plate is then placed on each Reblochon.
This is a thin plastic plate allowing for the cheese to be separated from the cold of the weight (stainless steel) that is then placed over it soon thereafter. In fact, at this stage, the cheese should not become cold.
The weights are placed on the cheeses for one whole night to allow them to finish draining.
Milking starts all over again!
The following morning, as soon as the milking has taken place, the Reblochon cheeses will be removed from the moulds and placed in brine (a salted water bath). The table will be prepared again for the next production.
Production will begin as soon as the milking ends, at around 07:00.