The unique Morbier line

The black line in Morbier,a stroke of genius

There is always a legend behind a product. Morbier’s legend says that a gust of wind spread ash over the cheeses as they were draining. The reality is more pragmatic.
Morbier cheese takes its name from its home village: Morbier. “Morbys”, “Bys” or “Bief” in the local patois meant a small stream which flowed from above the village.

Morbier cheese was born in secret at the end of the 18th century. At that time, the local Franche-Comté people delivered the milk from their cows to the village cheese dairy to make Comté. The harsh climate sometimes hampered travel, prompting the farmers to make their own cheese on the farm.

To protect the curd that had been obtained from the evening milking, the farmers covered it with ash taken ‘from the bottom of the pan’. The following day, in order to obtain a larger cheese, they covered the first curd with that from the morning milking. A delicious cheese with an ash line was created. Today, the Morbier black ray is made with vegetal charcoal.

After the Second World War, especially from the 1960s, Morbier had an astonishing rise. The cheese was discovered by hundreds of students from the École Nationale de l’Industrie Laitière (ENIL), the dairy industry school in Poligny, who come from all over France. Once they had completed their studies, seduced by this cheese, many students returned home and started making Morbier.

Gradually, more Morbier was made outside its birthplace, most often with pasteurised milk. Morbier was experiencing a little-known word at the time: relocation. To counter this movement, the Véritable Morbier de Franche-Comté label was created and then Morbier obtained the AOC in 2000, which gave it its noble status and European-wide protection: the PDO, which was obtained in 2002.

The historical line

The first written records

of a cheese called ‘Petit Morbier’ weighing 18 to 22 pounds (8 to 10 kg).

Precise description

The description of this new cheese became more precise:
“… of cheeses made in the manner of Gruyère with thicker texture, without holes and marbled by a line.”

Baptism of "Morbier"

It was made according to traditional expertise by the farmers of Doubs and Jura.

Obtaining the AOC

This certification officially recognised the ancestral history, practices, region and terroir of Morbier.
The Appellation d’Origine Contrôlée, or Controlled Designation of Origin, defined the production area and rules, within the specifications.

Obtaining the PDO

The Appellation d’Origine Protégée, or Protected Designation of Origin, provides a guarantee at European level to all the products that have an AOC.