Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Miss Morbier? Try Secret de Scey!

Hello loyal readers!

There has been quite a few changes with the FDA reformulating their procedures and for the moment, Morbier is one of the cheeses that has been affected by these changes. If you've been craving some Morbier recently, we have a cheese that may satisfy your craving until we can get the original back - the Secret de Scey!

Cheese: Secret de Scey
Producers: Fromagerie Jean Perrin
Region: Franche-Comte, France
Milk: Pasteurized cow's milk
Rennet: Traditional (animal)

The Secret de Scey is actually the same exact cheese and recipe as the Morbier, it is just made with pasteurized milk. AOC regulations have changed recently for the Morbier saying that it must be made with raw milk, so all pasteurized versions of Morbier are now called Secret de Scey.

The traditional recipe of the Morbier and now the Secret de Scey includes two different milkings, one in the morning and one in the evening. The farmers would take the morning milking and after it had been processed, place the curd into the form. They would then sprinkle vegetable ash and salt on top to keep the curd from drying out. For the evening milking, the process would be repeated and this curd would be placed in the same form as the morning milking on top of the vegetable ash and salt. After the curds have set, the cheese is washed with a natural brine and is aged for a minimum of four months. 

The Secret de Scey (as well as the Morbier) will always have the signature line of vegetable ash lining the middle of the paste. This is how you can tell the difference between the two milkings. Try tasting the paste on each side of the ash separately. Do they taste different? Depending on what the cows ate that day, there may be a large or small difference in flavor. That's what makes this cheese so fun!

Don't be frightened by the semi-potent washed rind smell of the cheese... the paste is creamy with a hint of funk. If you're a "stinky" cheese fan, you should add this one to your list. As for a beverage pairing, I lean more toward a Saison/Farmhouse style beer. The light, almost fizzy quality of these beers help cut the cloying cream and slight funk of the cheese... Quite incredible.Be sure to swing by the Whole Foods Market Los Altos cheese counter soon and we'd be happy to give you a sample of this yummy cheese!

ALSO, if you're interested in yummy cheese at a GREAT price, be sure to come by our cheese counter on Friday, February 6 for 20% off ALL CUT IN HOUSE CHEESE! That means... any cheese that we cut and wrap in house will be 20% off for that Friday and that Friday only! I'll be behind the cheese counter from 8am - 4:30pm if you want to stop by and chat cheese with me! You better believe I'll be stocking up on some cheese that day also!

I hope to see you on Friday, February 6 or any day before then! Until next time, eat, drink and be happy! 


  1. Friday a friend of mine recommended Morbier so today I went to Wegman's to obtain some. The cheeseier (am I saying that right?) didn't know what it was, but he looked it up in some database and recommended Secret instead. As I sit here typing I am eating it on crackers along with some Leffe Blond, a Belgian ale. Don't go by me, the subtleties of both cheese and beer are above my pay grade. For instance, I ate a little from each side of the ash separately, but was unable to detect a difference. I like the cheese pretty well because I like pungent cheese. Thanks to your explanation, I understand the connection with and difference from Morbier. I don't like the idea of unpasteurized milk so I may pass on the original. Can you say something about the difference in taste and aroma between these two cheeses?

    1. I'm sorry for the delay in responding! The holidays have caught up with me
      The differences between Morbier and Secret de Scey would be very subtle. The raw milk allows for the "terroir" of the milk to shine through, thus you would get more hints of grass, hay, barnyard, etc. Morbier is a little bit more pungent in my opinion and just has a bit more complexity. But if you're not a fan of unpasteurized milk, you're getting the next best thing with the Secret de Scey. Please let me know if you have any other questions!