If you tried to guess where I went Monday and you guessed wine or bread, you were wrong. However, if you guessed cheese, you’re a winner! Yes I went to two cheese factories. Do you know what’s better than French cheese? FRESH French cheese; after touring the large-scale cheese factory I purchased tasted four cheeses and decided upon one of the unpasteurized cheeses, stronger in taste. This first fromagerie(cheese factory) makes its cheese from milked that comes from several local farms with the Normande cattle breed. Although they only truly make four types of cheese, their final output is greatly varied. For example, the cheese could be pasteurized, not pasteurized, have an added Calvados flavor, etc. For the tour itself, Célia and I had the director show us around, explaining in more detail how each process was carried out. I was lucky because the information explaining the cheese history and processes were both in English and French. However, the videos and our tour guide were all in French.(Not a problem) Afterward, Célia and I went to the closest restaurant we found for lunch. We both ordered a salad with sundried tomatoes and goat cheese on toasted baguette for our appetizer. For our main dish, she had beef and I had a white fish with capers in a creamy lemon sauce with rice and a broccoli and potato puree. Lastly, for dessert she had crème brulée and I had a crepe filled with berries and currants. What a great surprise for lunch!
After our gourmet meal, Célia and I left for the little town on Camembert to visit a small-scale farm that makes their cheese directly from the milked cows on the farm. These cows are special however wherein they are crossbred: a Holstein and a Normande. This way, as is the goal, the breed will develop genetics with the highest milk output that is rich in proteins and fats. This cheese was not put out for sampling, but it was still really cool to see the fabrication of cheese. The special thing about this farm is that everything is done by hand whereas at the other fromagerie, mostly everything is done by machine.
Since we still had time to spare, Célia and I sporadically visited a Haras, or a farm with several horses. This specific Haras was where Célia had her 6 month internship, so she singly was able to show me around as well as be invited in for some juice and treats.
Yesterday was much less eventful, taking place at the office for the whole day. Of course, we went out for lunch, but that’s not the point. My time was spent writing an article in both French and English about my internship here in France. I had Célia help me with the fine points and corrections of my final French article. Otherwise, it would be sloppy. Turns out, they are going to post it in their magazine, which is issued four times a year. As long as they don’t forget, I’m going to receive one in the mail back at home. Upon my return to the house, I decided to grab a bowl, my mp3 player, and go berry picking. Yes, it turns out that they have several blackberry bushes here. Therefore, I’ve been eating them in my cereal for breakfast and whenever else I get the chance. Last night Elyse(15 yr old daughter) and I made a special treat for the family: blackberry and apple crumble a la mode. Since her mom and youngest sister were still at a friend’s house, we set the table and got everything ready for when they got home.
Fortunately, this morning I will be driving around with a large animal veterinarian. I’ll be with him until lunch, where I will be dropped off back at the farm. After lunch with the family, I’m riding with Laurence (their mother) and possibly her daughters to Rennes. Nicolas is going to pick me up and then I’ll be resting at his house until Monday. I can’t believe it’s Thursday – where HAS the time gone?