History of Morbier
Morbier cheese is from the village of Morbier in the Franche-Comte region, the same alpine area that the lovely Comte is from and they have been making this cheese in this area since the 19th Century.
The cheese originates as the Comte cheese makers used to use the left over milk curds from the morning and evenings milkings to make their own cheese for their personal use, to eat and sell as the smaller wheels used to mature much quicker than the larger Comtes therefore making the cheese makers some money during the season. Ash from the fires was sprinkled over the surface of the milk to stop the morning milk forming a skin before the left over evening milk was placed on top.
These days it is made by a single milking and a vegetable ash is added for it to follow the tradition and keep the aesthetics.
The cheese pressed then matured for a maximum of 3 months creating a yellowish rind and washed in a brine during the maturation process creating the characteristic washed rind bulge and a slight crunch on the exterior of the cheese. With a 45% fat content and a rich creamy texture with a graininess due to the ash coating this cheese is protected under the AOC.
The cheese is a large cylindrical wheel 30-40cm in diameter, 5-8cm high with a weight of 6-7kg.
Morbier has a beautiful ivory colour with a mild, yet distinctive flavour. The flavour is strong yet the cheese has a nuttiness and fresh cut grass notes not dissimilar to the famed Comte, but the ash texture that is not always appealing to many but worth persevering with as it has a wonderful fudgey gummy texture.
This cheese melts wonderfully and is great on a cheeseboard due to its distinctive appearance.
Beautiful with a crisp white wine cut through the creaminess and pairs well with a fruity Pinot Noir.