I like Morbier. It’s pretty. It has a line of ash through the center. It has an orange rind. And it’s funky.
But goat’s milk morbier? That’s a whole another story.
The original morbier was made in the Franche-Comté region of France from cow’s milk. Story has it that cheesemakers created it because they had leftover curds from making Comté. Comté is a huge cheese. When cheesemakers had leftover curds from making full Comté batches, but not quite enough to make a large wheel, they have to figure out something to do with all that delicious nutrient-packed lushness. What to do with the curds? Put some ash on it.
At the end of the day, cheesemakers started to put those curds into small cheese wheel molds. Then they’d put ash over the curds to form a barrier so a rind couldn’t form overnight, with plans of adding the next day’s leftover curds on top of the ash (little fun fact- ash also helps the center of a cheese ripen by altering its pH level). The next morning they’d repeat the curding. After the next batch of Comté goodness was done, they’d put the leftover curds on top of the ash. And voila, a new cheese is formed! Making cheese this way now is very unusual- most morbier is made in large make rooms or factories from milk that is entirely intended to go into morbier.
The taste of the original? Semi-firm, silky, sweet, pretty darn funky, meaty.
The taste of goat’s milk morbier? Semi-firm, silky, sweet, a tad funky, and lively. A little lemony.
So…. you’ve heard that the French are a tad traditional, right?
Well, off in the Pays de la Loire on the Atlantic coast of France a cheesemaker decided to play around. He created a goat’s milk cheese that looked almost exactly like Morbier, except whiter (because goats’ milk chees-i-fies in a whiter color than cow’s milk- I blame the lower butterfat). Then, he took it to Affineur Rodolphe le Meunier (the cheese MOF in the Loire Valley) to age. His name for it? Goat’s milk morbier.
But knowing that the French are die hard food traidtionalists, Meunier advised him not to name it goat’s milk morbier, “No one would buy it!” So they named it after the tiny river nearby- Le Jeune Autize. So you didn’t hear it’s goat’s milk morbier here.
Check this beauty out if you see it new you. A very delicous twist on a famed classic. And while you’re at it, try the original. It’s it’s too funky for you (give it time, give it time), no fear, it’ll make one of the best grilled cheese sandwiches you’ll have in your life.
I loooove it with apricots. Because, you know, it’s spring.