Morbier is a semi-soft cow’s raw milk cheese from France-Comté region with a distinctive black layer of tasteless vegetable ash.
Also known as Morbier du Livradois, has a rich and creamy flavour, great strong aroma and a slightly bitter aftertaste.
Morbier is suitably named because the word means “small market town”. It is made in Morez, during the winter in the Jura mountains – near the Swiss border, from curd leftover from making Comté cheese, or when they didn’t have enough milk to make cheese the size of a Comté wheel and dates back to at least the late 1700s.
It received its French appellation d’origine contrôlée (A.O.C.) in 2001, and its European P.D.O. status in 2002. The Jura and Doubs versions both benefit from an A.O.C, though other non-AOC Morbier exist on the market.
Morbier is ivory coloured, soft and slightly elastic with small eyes or holes and with a rind that is yellowish, moist, and leathery.
Traditionally, the cheese consists of a layer of morning milk and a layer of evening milk. Nowadays, the cheese is usually made from a single milking with the traditional ash line replaced by vegetable dye, taking about 45 days to 3 months for full maturation.
The cheese is made in 5 to 8 kg wheels, measuring 38 – 45 cm in diameter, about 7.5 cm in height, and has a minimum fat content of 45%.
Morbier has a mild savoury and fruity taste of nuts and fruit with a fresh hay aroma.
Mobier is a cheese that can steal the show on cheese platters. It is often used on sandwiches, melts well and is excellent on salads. You can pair it with Gewurztraminer or Pinot Noir.