The mountains of the Savoie region are home to Roblochon, the famous French washed rind cheese. The name “Roblochon” comes from the French verb “roblocher”, which we have no English equivalent for, but roughly translates to: “The act of pinching a cow’s udders.” In the Middle-Ages, farmers in the mountains of Haute Savoie used to pay their taxes with part of their milk production. In order to bring their production levels down, the farmers wouldn’t fully milk their cows. Once the tax officers came to measure the milk produced and left, the farmers went back to milk the cows again. In between milkings, the milk would culture, making it much richer and giving it more depth of flavor. Today Roblochon is still made using partially cultured milk, but no longer as a means of tax evasion.
Sadly, French Roblochon has been banned from importation from the U.S. for quite some time, because the AOC stipulates that the cheese be made with raw milk, and aged less than sixty days. The lack of Roblochon in the United States has been a point of contention for Francophiles and cheese connoisseurs alike, especially at Great Ciao! Which is why we were so excited when we tasted Manigodine. Manigod is a tiny village nestled up in the mountains. Guillaume and Murielle Burgat are producers of Roblochon, he tends to the cows, and she makes the cheese. Just recently they started producing a new cheese called Manigodine (which translates to: the woman of Manigod). It uses the same recipe as their Roblochon, but in a larger format.
Manigodine is only being produced for distribution in the United States. As a larger format raw milk Roblochon, the cheese is still mellow and delicious after the sixty-day mark. Once Murielle has made the cheeses, the fresh Manigodine are sent to affineur Jean-François Paccard, who tends to the cheeses until they are ready to be air-freighted to us at the Great Ciao World Headquarters here in Minnesota. This cheese is delicious eaten on its own – but would be a knockout in Tartiflette, a regional gratin of Roblochon, potatoes, onions, dry white wine, and lardons. Mmmmm yes please!
Here are the specifics:
- Country of Origin: France
- Region: Haut Savoie
- Milk Type: Unpasteurized Cow
- Style: Washed Rind, Soft
- Tasting Notes: Milky and delicate, a milder washed rind cheese. Notes of chanterelle, pine, smoke, and hay.
- Quantity: 3# Wheel
- Availability: Limited