Wednesday, October 29, 2008

A good Morbier

I've always loved the look of Morbier with its striking band of ash down the centre but have frequently been disappointed at the taste. However I bought a good one the other day (right) which was delicious, with a nice semi-creamy texture. Better news still it went very well with a glass of the red wine we had open, a ripe, generous garnacha called Higueruela from a relatively unknown denomination called Almansa east of La Mancha. (Semi-soft cheeses of this style usually struggle with reds.)

According to the Morbier website - yes it has it's own dedicated one - it has been produced in the Jura for some 250 years. Traditionally it was made with leftover curd from Comté cheese which was covered with a light vegetal ash to stop a rind forming overnight before the mould could be topped up with the next day's leftover curd. You can see on their step by step slides of the cheesemaking process how the distinctive layer of ash is added these days. It has to be matured for 45 days, according to the AOC regulations, but is more commonly matured longer

If you're a fan you can even send a Morbier e-card. I don't think I'd go quite that far though I rather like the ones of the cows ;-)

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