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Cheese similar to Reblochon for Tartiflette?

With winter coming on, I am looking forward to making tartiflette, which we enjoy at this time (potatoes, bacon, cheese, and wine—-what’s not to like?). But since the Reblochon cheese used in France is not available in the US, I have had to accept a substitute. In the past I have used Gruyere, but a recipe I just found in Cooks Illustrated suggests Taleggio or Camembert. I can’t stand the smell of Camembert and don’t want it in the house! And I am not familiar with Taleggio, but I may be able to find it at the Italian grocery here in Seattle.

Can anyone suggest other possible substitutes? The cheese is supposed to have a washed rind, and the rind is part of the recipe. But I have been doing without that when I make it with Gruyere.

For those who are curious why Reblochon is not available in the US: it is a raw-milk cheese which is not aged long enough to meet US food-safety standards.

Posted by
3048 posts

If you don’t care for strong smelling cheeses like Camembert, you may not like Taleggio. It is a strong smelling but mildish tasting semisoft cheese that was often requested at our wine and cheese events. If you see it in your cheese shop, and I think it’s pretty common, ask for a taste to see if you can get it past your nose gatekeeper 😋

Posted by
198 posts

Local cheese market says that delice du Jura is the closest they've come to Reblochon.

Posted by
3236 posts

Lola, that sounds wonderful. Like you, I am not a fan of Camembert. What about Fontina? It’s semi-soft quality might be a good substitute. I use it on top of my “Silver Palate” Minestrone Soup recipe. Other than this, I bet DeLaurenti at Pike Place Market may have what you are looking for! Edited to add: https://www.foodchamps.org/taleggio-cheese-substitutes/

Posted by
4936 posts

Our larger grocery stores in the Tulsa area carry taleggio, so you should be able to find it. Whole Foods carries it, as well. Ask for a sample, and as Mona suggested, go by taste, not smell.

I would think Fontina too mild, but maybe not.

Posted by
12913 posts

Thanks! I will start with trying the Taleggio.

I just noticed that the Cooks Illustrated also mentions Delice du Jura, along with Vacherin Mont d”Or, and a couple of domestics from Jasper Hill (wherever that is). But Italian specialties seem to be easier to find here in Seattle than French ones.

Posted by
258 posts

Taleggio is, in my opinion, much stronger smelling (and tasting) than Camembert. If you can get it, I would suggest Fontina (Italian) or Port Salut (French) as substitutes for Reblochon.

Camembert, Coulommiers, or Brie would be other choices. But keep in mind this dish (tartiflette) is a recently invented recipe intended to boost sales of Reblochon. So, substituting any good-melting flavorful cheese that suits your taste preferences should work.. It's not as if you would be violating some ancient tradition.

Posted by
3590 posts

If Vacherin Mont d'Or is available near you, it is probably the nearest relative on "authenticity" grounds (bearing in mind that Tartiflette is a 1980s invention anyway) - if not quite the same taste. You could also simply put that cheese in the oven (that's what the box is designed for), and dip your potatoes in it. Easy and deliciously unhealthy.

Conversely, the flavor profile of Brie / Camembert / Coulommiers is not really related to that of Reblochon. They melt well and work well with potatoes, but they will create a rather different dish. Brie is probably the least smelly of the bunch (in any case, the smell of the pasteurized versions of these cheeses isn't particularly strong IMO, but then I am French).

Posted by
5493 posts

Jasper Hill Farm is in Greensboro, Vermont. Appears they produce several artisanal cheese varieties.

Posted by
1 posts

Swiss Raclette would be a good substitute. If my memory is correct, it’s available in the colder months. It’s a good milder melting cheese. It’s not a washed rind cheese like Taleggio which is more earthy and when ripe stinky. It’s milder when young.

Posted by
12913 posts

Thanks! I am familiar with raclette ( the cheese and potato dish);and have made it, so I know I can find that particular cheese. Maybe I will set up a taste test and make 3 small dishes of tartiflette, topping each with a different cheese. . .