Morbier | ūü¶ÜThe Bow Tie Duck Manila
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Morbier

A dash of ash

This dis­tinct-look­ing semi-soft cheese made of fresh cow’s milk takes its name from the small vil­lage of Mor­bier in Franche-Comté.

TAST­ING NOTES FROM THE CURATOR

Mor¬≠bier is ivory-col¬≠ored with a yel¬≠low¬≠ish leath¬≠ery rind, and a very dis¬≠tinct thin black lay¬≠er divid¬≠ing it hor¬≠i¬≠zon¬≠tal¬≠ly in the mid¬≠dle. This alpine cheese is creamy, springy, and sup¬≠ple, with a fair¬≠ly soft and elas¬≠tic texture. 

It has a very strong smell‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČpun¬≠gent and grassy. But don‚Äôt let that deter you! Its taste is much milder and sub¬≠tler than its aro¬≠ma would indi¬≠cate. Citrus‚ÄĎy, and slight¬≠ly tangy, this cheese is rich and full in fla¬≠vor but nev¬≠er over¬≠pow¬≠er¬≠ing. Tru¬≠ly, a delight.

PAIR­INGS AND PREPARATION

Like many semi-soft cheeses, Mor¬≠bier is bril¬≠liant on its own or as part of a cheese plat¬≠ter. Have a bot¬≠tle of Domaine Rol¬≠ly-Gassmann Gew√ľrz¬≠tramin¬≠er or a Vil¬≠lard Expre¬≠sion Reserve Pinot Noir with this cheese!

Melty and deli¬≠cious, this cheese is an excel¬≠lent ingre¬≠di¬≠ent to ele¬≠vate your dish¬≠es. Make a creamy sauce to top fresh pas¬≠ta with, or use it on savory cr√™pes. Even bet¬≠ter, attempt a Morbiflette! 

A tra¬≠di¬≠tion¬≠al dish, and the most pop¬≠u¬≠lar use of Mor¬≠bier, this includes melt¬≠ing and pour¬≠ing a wedge of the cheese onto boiled pota¬≠toes, some small pick¬≠led onions and pieces of smoked bacon. Incredible!

A DASH OF ASH

Mor­bier was orig­i­nal­ly made for home con­sump­tion by the mak­ers of the Comté cheese, the region’s oth­er spe­cial­ty. How­ev­er, it took less time to mature than the much big­ger Comté, so they took the oppor­tu­ni­ty to increase their sales by sell­ing Morbier.

But how did it come about? The Comt√© cheese¬≠mak¬≠ers would have left¬≠over curd at the end of the day, but not enough to make anoth¬≠er entire cheese. So, they would press that into a mold and spread ash (usu¬≠al¬≠ly made of burnt grape vines) over it. This pro¬≠tect¬≠ed the alpine cheese from insects and the ele¬≠ments overnight. This is the lay¬≠er they called ‚Äč‚Äúevening milk.‚ÄĚ The next day, they would place the remain¬≠ing curd left¬≠over of that day on top to com¬≠plete the cheese‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČthe ‚Äč‚Äúmorn¬≠ing milk.‚ÄĚ This isn‚Äôt done any¬≠more, of course, and the black line is now pure¬≠ly for dec¬≠o¬≠ra¬≠tive pur¬≠pos¬≠es to keep with tra¬≠di¬≠tion. Nowa¬≠days, it‚Äôs made of veg¬≠etable dye.

Storage Instructions

Cheeses (except brined ones in jars) should be stored in the crisper or the but¬≠ter draw¬≠er of a refrig¬≠er¬≠a¬≠tor, not on the shelves them¬≠selves. This is to help reg¬≠u¬≠late their tem¬≠per¬≠a¬≠ture and humid¬≠i¬≠ty lev¬≠els‚ÄČ‚ÄĒ‚ÄČand pre¬≠vents the for¬≠ma¬≠tion of mold. Once opened, they should not be kept in their orig¬≠i¬≠nal pack¬≠ag¬≠ing. Soft cheeses with del¬≠i¬≠cate rinds need to breathe, so they are best placed in glass con¬≠tain¬≠ers lined with paper tow¬≠els to absorb extra mois¬≠ture. Leave the lid open a tiny bit for air to cir¬≠cu¬≠late and don‚Äôt for¬≠get to write up a label with the date you first opened the pack¬≠age. Your cheese will be fine for up to one month, unless oth¬≠er¬≠wise stat¬≠ed in best before date stamped on the label.