While the cuisine of Morocco is justifiably world-renowned, it has to be said that Morocco is not a cheese-producing nation. Yes, there is the soft cottage cheese known as jebli, and rather poor copies of French cheeses are produced in Casablanca, but generally, if you want good cheese, you have to buy imported products. Now, however, superb cheeses are being produced in Immouzer in the Middle Atlas, not far from Fez.
Jean-Yves and Driss
Jean-Yves Moine and his friend Driss Aoudi discovered the perfect underground cellar for maturing cheese that lay beneath the house of Driss' father in Immouzer. Now that Jean-Yves has retired from teaching in Fez, he has the time to devote to perfecting the cheeses.
Driss and Jean-Yves are using cheese-making recipes from the French Alps. Starting with raw cows milk, they mould, press, turn and salt their cheese wheels with great care. After three weeks of maturing, the cheese they have produced is a reblochon, a semi-soft, flavourful Savoy-style cheese.
If left for five or six weeks, the cheese becomes a tomme with a gentler flavour. They're also producing a soft ricotta-style cheese from an ancient Italian recipe that's perfect on pasta, salads, and for cooking both sweet and savoury.