Publication of an application pursuant to Article 50(2)(a) of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council on quality schemes for agricultural products and foodstuffs
This publication confers the right to oppose the application pursuant to Article 51 of Regulation (EU) No 1151/2012 of the European Parliament and of the Council (1).
‘RACLETTE DE SAVOIE’
EU No: PGI-FR-02095 — 23.11.2015
PDO ( ) PGI ( X )
‘Raclette de Savoie’
2.Member State or Third Country
3.Description of the agricultural product or foodstuff
3.1.Type of product
Class 1.3. Cheeses
3.2.Description of the product to which the name in (1) applies
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is a pressed, uncooked cheese, made from raw or thermised cow’s milk.
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ comes in the form of a wheel with a diameter of 28 cm to 34 cm and a height at the outer rim of between 6 cm and 7,5 cm.
The total dry extract is greater than or equal to 56 %. The fat content (ratio of fat to dry matter) is between 48 % and 52 %. The salt content is between 1,4 % and 2,2 %.
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ has a pH greater than or equal to 5,50 and an ammonia content greater than or equal to 60 mg/100 g of cheese.
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ has a smeared rind that is yellow to brown in colour and a paste that is white to straw-yellow in colour.
The cheese may have a number of openings and has a firm and tender texture. When heated, it takes on a melting and creamy consistency. The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ does not exude much oil when heated.
Formats for sale:
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is sold in the following formats:
When intended for sale to the consumer in prepackaged units, the ‘Raclette de Savoie’ may be made in a cuboid form measuring 28 cm to 34 cm in length and a height at the outer rim of between 6 cm and 7,5 cm.
3.3.Feed (for products of animal origin only) and raw materials (for processed products only)
The dairy herd’s feed is made up of the following food categories:
The distribution of lactoserum produced on the holding is allowed within 24 hours of its extraction.
In the case of farm-based production, the milk used for the manufacture of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ comes from a herd of dairy cows that consists of at least 75 % of cows from the Abondance, Montbéliarde or Tarentaise breeds.
At the processor, the milk collected for producing ‘Raclette de Savoie’ comes from a herd of dairy cows at least 75 % of which consists of cows from the Abondance, Montbéliarde or Tarentaise breeds.
To ensure that these rules are respected, the composition of the holding’s dairy farm may not be altered other than to increase the proportion of cows from the Abondance, Montbéliarde or Tarentaise breeds.
3.4.Specific steps in production that must take place in the defined geographical area
The dairy production, processing and maturing take place in the identified geographical area.
The production of milk intended for the production of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ in the geographical area is justified by the considerable sources of fodder in the area, which are used in the production of cheeses and which give the cheese its characteristic features.
3.5.Specific rules concerning slicing, grating, packaging, etc. of the product the registered name refers to
3.6.Specific rules concerning labelling of the product the registered name refers to
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ label must include:
4.Concise definition of the geographical area
The geographical area covers the two departments of Savoie and Haute-Savoie in full and the following municipalities in the Departments of Ain and Isère.
Department of Ain: Anglefort, Bellegarde-sur-Valserine, Béon, Billiat, Ceyzérieu, Chanay, Châtillon-en-Michaille, Corbonod, Cressin-Rochefort, Culoz, Flaxieu, Injoux-Génissiat, Lancrans, Lavours, Léaz, Lhôpital, Massignieu-de-Rives, Nattages, Parves, Pollieu, Saint-Martin-de-Bavel, Seyssel, Surjoux, Talissieu, Villes, Virignin, Vongnes.
Department of Isère: Entre-deux-Guiers, Miribel-les-Échelles, Saint-Christophe-sur-Guiers, Saint-Pierre-de-Chartreuse, Saint-Pierre-d’Entremont.
5.Link with the geographical area
Specificity of the geographical area
In topographical and geological terms, the geographical area for ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is quite diverse. The terrain is predominantly between 200 metres and 2 500 metres, often with deep soil from both old crystalline and limestone massifs.
The climate is typically mountainous: the winters are long and often harsh and the summers hot. With the exception of the valleys in the Maurienne and Tarentaise, which receive less rainfall on the whole, the annual rainfall in the geographical area is high, with an average of 1 000 mm and up to 1 500 mm at the base of the pre-Alpine mountain ranges. This characteristic of the geographical area favours good grass growth.
The geographical area’s soil composition and rainfall make it prime territory for high-quality grass. Both the hay meadows and pastures have a rich and diversified flora, typical of the Alpine mountain area.
In the Western part of the geographical area, the production of cereals and maize is also possible.
The history of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is closely linked to that of the Alps. It is part of the history of livestock farming and cheese-making expertise in the Alps.
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ has its origins in the Middle Ages, when the shepherds ate a ‘roasted cheese’, mainly in summer, namely a semi-wheel of cheese placed in front of a wood fire, which then melted the surface of the cheese.
It was only at the beginning of the twentieth century that the name ‘raclette’ appeared, in reference to the action of scraping (‘racler’) the melted surface of the cheese onto the potatoes on the plate.
‘Raclette de Savoie’ developed in the heart of a region dominated by grassland systems and livestock management based on the use of fodder sources and local breeds. This region also has a long-standing tradition of producing pressed cheeses incorporating specific cheese-making know-how and types of milk production adapted to this technology. On account of its average size, ‘Raclette de Savoie’ progressively came to complement the region’s other types of cheese. It was a way to conserve relatively small amounts of milk compared to larger-format cheeses.
This context, coupled with the socioeconomic organisation of agriculture in the Savoie region which was historically based on the ‘fruitières’ system (the local name given to cheese-making cooperatives) managed by farmers, enabled the development of a cheese-making culture shared between farmers and cheese-makers.
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ also benefited from the advent of winter tourism from the 1960s and 1970s and the industrial history of the Alps, with the birth of the raclette machine, thanks to the widespread availability of hydropower. The take-off of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is thus linked to the raclette machines developed through a partnership between the Rippoz and Tefal companies in 1975 in Savoie. Mastery of the technology for gluing Teflon onto aluminium, as a replacement to melting over a wood fire, followed by the first electrical machines for the catering industry, led to the emergence of a new way to eat ‘Raclette de Savoie’, heated on individual plates.
The growth of winter sports mass tourism in the 1970s and the construction of the resorts created to meet the growing demand for this type of leisure activity contributed to giving ‘Raclette de Savoie’ its reputation as the cheese typically enjoyed on these occasions.
The production of milk intended for the production of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is still based on the wide availability of grass in the geographical area and also on the continued tradition of raising traditional breeds: Abondance, Montbéliarde and Tarentaise. These breeds have demonstrated their ability to adjust to the physical and climate constraints of the environment: body type adapted to grazing on sloping pastures, heat tolerance, capacity for grazing in the summer and dry fodder in the winter.
Furthermore, the technologies used in the manufacture of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ are adapted to the characteristics of the milk described above. The cheese-makers make the most of these characteristics and know how to adjust all the production parameters to obtain the specific characteristics of ‘Raclette de Savoie’. The control of the fat content is an important starting point which sometimes leads the cheese makers to partially skim the milk.
The seeding of milk also plays an important role, particularly the selection and management of the thermophilic flora. Removing the lactose and pressing are also key stages in the production process, which contribute to controlling the pH value. The cheese is traditionally matured for a minimum of eight weeks on wooden boards which promote a good protein breakdown in the cheese.
Specificity of the product
‘Raclette de Savoie’ is an average to large-sized wheel.
It is characterised by its creaminess and its firmness when cold.
‘Raclette de Savoie’ has a distinctive feature of being very spreadable and not exuding much oil when heated. It is also characterised by a melting character significantly higher than other raclettes.
In the mouth, ‘Raclette de Savoie’ is particularly creamy and not very sticky.
The link between ‘Raclette de Savoie’ and its geographical area is based on its specific quality.
The ‘Raclette de Savoie’ owes its specificities to the expertise in producing milk and cheese in the geographical area.
The milk production in the geographical area promotes the optimum use of grazing resources in line with ancestral practices and the use of the milk obtained from traditional breeds. This milk, produced in large quantities thanks to the specific feed, is better suited to the production of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ than that of other breeds raised in the same conditions: the curd obtained after adding the rennet is firmer and the cheese yield greater. It is thus particularly well-adapted to the specific format of the ‘Raclette de Savoie’.
Furthermore, the cheese-making expertise in the production of ‘Raclette de Savoie’ has a certain impact on all the specificities of the product.
The mastery of the fat content directly affects the elasticity when warm, spreadability and low oil exudation of the ‘Raclette de Savoie’.
Its pronounced meltability is also linked to the low percentage of L. lactates which is mainly due to the specificity of the sowing with thermophilic cultures and lactose removal.
The maturing process, which promotes a high level of protein breakdown, is reflected in the specific characteristics of the tender firmness of the ‘Raclette de Savoie’ when cold.
Reference to publication of the specification
(the second subparagraph of Article 6(1) of this Regulation)
(1) OJ L 343, 14.12.2012, p. 1.
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