Today, when I was in my local cheese store in Brooklyn, my eye fell on a reblochon. I don't see this cheese often in cheese stores probably because most reblochons are made from raw milk and usually don't make it to 60 days. I asked whether it was a raw milk cheese, and indeed, this was the case. It was from Maitre Fromager Rolf Beeler from Switserland.
This reminded me of my visit this summer to Bertrand Perrillat, a reblochon maker from Grand Bonnard in the Haute Savoie.
Bertrand Perrillat makes wonderful cheeses in the traditional style twice a day from his herd of 24 milking cows. He doesn't have heifers neither calfs. The breeding is done by other farmers using the gene pool from the Perrillat's herd. His herd is a mix of Abondance, Montbelliard and Tarentaise.
As said, he makes cheese twice a day, after each milking. He doesn't have bulk tank. The culture for the cheese comes from the cooperation and is distributed among the members. He makes about 70 t0 80 wheels a day. His equipment is very rudimentary, a small stainless steel vat with a butane fueled burner to heat the curds. The vat looked to me to be about 100 gallon. It didn't have a draining valve.
After the draining and pressing Bertrand brines the cheeses for two hours after which they are dried. This is all done in the making room. When the rind has formed sufficiently, the cheeses move to the aging room where they are regularly washed with water until they are ready for sale.