Monday, September 07, 2009

Cheesus!

Like I said, the Cantal is a big cheese producing area. There are cow pastures everywhere you look, perched on the sides of mountains and on nearly every available flat spot. Many of the cheese producers are part of a tourist circuit and they invite visitors to watch the cows being milked or the cheese being made (more about that later).

This way to cheese!

Almost every town in the vicinity of Salers has at least one producer and the signs like the one pictured above help direct you to their farms. There's a map given out at tourist offices and by cheese vendors in the markets that help you to locate the various producers. The people in these parts are very proud of their cheese, and rightly so. Cantal is among my favorite cheeses.

The closest producer to St.-Chamant.

The cheese in Cantal is a hard cheese made naturally in two very similar varieties. Basic Cantal is made all year round. Salers is made only during the non-winter months when the cows are grazing on live grass and the process is more strictly controlled. I should also say that the beef from Salers steers (a recognized breed of cattle) is highly prized.

This was nowhere near a church.

I was slightly taken aback by this creepy vision at the end of the road where our rental house was, just as you leave the town of St.-Chamant. I couldn't help thinking, as I passed it, "Look! It's Cheesus Christ!"

11 comments:

  1. Cheesus! What a cheesy title! ;p

    The place you stayed at (pictured in the previous post) looks gorgeous.

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  2. Hey Walt,

    Now that you mention it... Is that a slice of cheese above His head?? Now, THAT would be cheesy! Glad you had a good ol' time!
    Leese

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  3. That's really cheesy. They could use a few of those signs in Wisconsin or even New York!

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  4. Hi Walt--
    I've been reading your blog for quite a while and just want to say how much I appreciate it. I love all thing French, so it's fun to read about your experiences there. And I do hope some day to make a move similar to what you and Ken have done...or at least for part of the year, since it's doubtful I'll ever get my Bill to permanently vacate the lake (and snow) country of the upper Midwest, USA. For now, I am somewhat content with visiting Paris and the surrounding countryside every year or so for a nice long stay. (okay... not really content, but it's very enjoyable and scratches the itch.)

    By the way, I especially loved the photo series a while back on your own town. Very nice.
    Thanks!
    Dani

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  5. Well, you got a good laugh out of me, but all the good quips are taken.

    The verification word is "hyplemat," obviously a business that is begging for development. Wonder what they'd sell?

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  6. I wonder if the area has more cows per square mile than Derbyshire. We make good cheese here, too. If it's possible, I'll bring you some !!

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  7. I've never had Cantal or Salers. I must try to find some. Bet they'll have it in Toulouse.

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  8. I love cheese; I suspect make marvelous cheese.
    I've had a few 'good' cheese from France and they were divine.

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  9. evol, I couldn't resist! Sorry...

    leesa, it could be... ;)

    melinda, glad you liked it.

    alewis, I think you're right!

    dani, thanks for stopping by!

    chris, good question...

    jean, another good question. I'm sure Derbyshire cheese is yummy.

    starman, I bet they will, since Toulouse is not that far from the Cantal.

    urspo, they say there are close to 400 varieties made in France!

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  10. That cross was definitely creepy. It reminded me of some of the crosses people here in the deep South leave where people have died in car wrecks.

    I'm just catching up on your blog here in the early morning hours of the jet lag days of our returning home.

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