Archive for December 23rd, 2017

December 23, 2017

Yes , this is the real Brie de Meaux! the cheese that is !!!!!

And at last, this is the real Brie de Meaux, the king of cheeses, the cheese of kings , Vienna congress 1815. Indeed, and there are lots of imitations and even those claiming to be using the same method but in far away lands ,even in France.

However, the real unique Brie de Meaux comes from the brie region of the department 77 Seine-et-Marne, and the town of Meaux (from which my wife comes from) is the epicenter of it. Sadly, today , many farmers are gone, industrialization has and does kill traditions. It remains only folks like us, me to preserve them and sponsored them so they keep delighting us with the real thing.

After much fighting , there is a group  Brie de Meaux et de Melun, that protects the cheeses creating an AOP or appellation d’Origine Protégée. More here in French: http://www.briedemeauxetdemelun.fr/

For the Brie de Meaux ,there is the Confrérie des Compagnons du Brie de Meaux  or grouping of lovers of the cheese that is to protect and defend the tradition; the official site is here in English:  http://www.confreriedubriedemeaux.fr/en/

La Maison du Brie de Meaux is a boutique that is right in the Episcopal palace next to the Museum Bossuet that also acts as the tourist office. You can buy it direct too.  5 place Charles-de-Gaulle, tel +33 (0) 1 64 33 02 26. More here: http://www.ville-meaux.fr/fr/tourisme/balade-a-meaux/la-maison-du-brie-de-meaux.html

The brie de Meaux is done on a covering crusted in hormones of the cow’s milk ,soft and fondant, it has a flowery smell and it is delicious alone or with bread or an apple or even with honey. It takes about 25 liters of milk for 3,5 kg of cheese in a round form. It was first given credit to be created in the Abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre about 17 kms from Meaux.

Today due to shrinkage of the old traditions, the cheese makers are for 70% of the production located in the areas of Cousances-lés-Triconville, Raival, and Biencourt-sur-Orge within the allow territory of the AOP.  Covering several departments such as Seine-et-Marne (77), Loiret(45), Meuse(55) , Aube(10), Marne(51)  , Haute-Marne(52), and Yonne(89).

However, the best is still around the town of Meaux and Jouarre. Here at the latest is the oldest family run cheesemaker or fromagerie place that of fromagerie Ganot since 1895. More on it here in French: http://www.fermes-brie.fr/

The one in Meaux has been doing for years from generation to generation and the one our family buys from. This is the Fromagerie de Meaux Saint Faron. Here it is produce as well as the smaller cousin of Melun. You can have tours and tastings as well.  There is no webpage but the tourist office has info in French here: http://www.tourisme-paysdemeaux.com/1685-fromagerie-de-meaux-saint-faron

The guided tours can be done in English or French. 4€ adults; groups are done with reservations,and individual visits can be done Wednesdays,Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 9h -12h30 and 14h30 -17h. The place is outside the city in an industrial park just before reaching the museum of WWI and the American Monument on the N405 road. From the train station in Meaux coming from Paris gare de l’Est you can take bus P to it or take the navette bus from the train station to the museum WWI and walk down to the cheese maker. By car of course , we came and it is free. Tel +33 (0) 1 64 36 69 44 or email accueil@fromagerie-saintfaron.fr

Of course, you can ,also taste the new beer of Meaux, we tried already the Christmas beer and is pretty good with a cinnamon taste to it very sweet. Info is here but you can buy at the cheesemaker st Faron boutique or the maison de Brie tourist office .This is the Brasserie de Meaux, more info in French  here: http://www.brasseriedemeaux.com/

And , do not forget the mustard or moutard de Meaux Pommery world famous use by all the grand chefs of France and the world. It was known since antiquity, only offered to the religious orders at the time around 1632; it was in 1760 that the secrets was passed on to a Mr Pommery. It was served on the Royal tables and located at behind the Cathedral later moved to rue faubourg St Nicolas until 1927, however in 1925 the last of the Pommery sold the secret, name, business and all; even if the new owners since has used the same recipe.  We use it at home and buy at Meaux the original, the mustard a l’ancienne or old ways that is use in cooking and also to eat along great steaks !! You can buy at the maison du brie or the fromagerie st faron or at the city center cheese store in 4 rue du Général Leclerc ,the Fromagerie de Meaux. More officially on the mustard here: http://www.moutarde-de-meaux.com/

Again for info the abbey of Notre Dame de Jouarre is wonderful and should go there for the visit. I have written before in my blog, here is the post: https://paris1972-versailles2003.com/2011/03/26/jouarre-old-abbey-and-medieval-77/

Hope you enjoy it and with some pictures as well as on the city of Meaux.  Including the vieux Châpitre linking to the Cathedral, the museum of Bossuet(since 1927 in the old episcopal palace b. 12C) , the ramparts , and a bit of my in laws house including my old bedroom in village outside, the pizzeria Roma my hangout when entering France in 2003 permanently, and the gardens of Bossuet (created in the 17C)  where I walked first in the city, memories. See my other post on Meaux, several here.  I will leave for later the Cathedral an absolute must visit. Enjoy Meaux , the meldois of the east of Parisi ::) and of course the Brie!!

Chambry chambry Chambry  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux  Meaux

 

December 23, 2017

The road warrior roundtrip to the Brie country!

If you read my posts carefully, you need to know that I love the road even if in my belle France public transport is pretty good, nothing beats the road and the car, for me.

We do all trips by car even to adjoining countries over the years, and every year as far as Castilla La Mancha region in Spain or afar into the Saar of Germany. This time we were visiting the inlaws in Seine-et-Marne near Disneyland and the Brie cheese country so we took off by car again. This is the story of the road trip.

Bison Futé is a government site very useful for traffic information, here it is in French: http://www.bison-fute.gouv.fr/maintenant.html

My favorite site for traffic conditions is v-traffic, and you can tell in the Ïle de France region is pretty dense always, see here in French: http://www.v-traffic.com/#traffic

For weather we check Méteo France here: http://www.meteofrance.com/accueil

The info on the autoroutes or expressways especially we look here for the rest stops or aires and time our km/miles with stop on the best ones as far as facilities is concern. Here it is the site in English: http://www.autoroutes.fr/index.htm?lang=en

We have GPS in our car but nevertheless we look at viamichelin to compare and many times I have found the paper directions better especially over long roads, the GPS is very good in cities and around them. via Michelin is here: https://www.viamichelin.com/

And with all that preparation we go and never a problems on the road even avoiding heavy traffic once again ::)

We went out on the toll road route as we wanted to arrive quicker to my mother in law house in the countryside of the Marne in dept 77. They are very well place around the WWI museum and the American Monument in memory of the Americans of WWI ,the brie cheese original region and the closest big city to Disneyland Paris (yes not in Paris but in dept 77 Marne-la-Vallée).

We went up on the D768 to hook up with the N24 direction Rennes.  We went around the beltway or Rocade sud (south) direction Le Mans on the N136, the name of the rocade. We hook up with the N157 direction Le Mans linking up continuously on the A81 (L’Armoricaine highway) .  Where you take your toll ticket only. North of Le Mans we hook up with the A11 passing the wonderful old world region of the Perche. The A11 is call the Océane highway. We passed wonderful Chartres ; eventually hooking up with Saint Arnoult des Yvelines in our old dept 78 and paying the toll of 28,80€ while hooking up with the A10 also call the Aquitaine highway.

Passing Janvy, we hook up with the N104 also known as the La Francilienne, a big beltway around Paris far from it that was done to help decongestion a bit of the Capital. Nothing to it is still heavily traffic as well lol!!! This road hooks up with the A6 also known as the Autoroute du Soleil or the sunshine highway direction Fontainebleau but just for a bit as we hook up again with the N104 as one continuous road. Following signs for Paris, Metz ,Nancy etc. You end up on the A4 autoroute or autoroute de l’Est or East highway; continuing direction Metz.  You past exit or sortie 14, this is for Disneyland and continue to a toll road for 2,20€ to get into the A140 autoroute that links up with Meaux. arriving by 16h to our mother in law house which is in the village of Chambry on the N405 road ,also known as the route du Varreddes.

The way back (stay in another post), we decided to not pay tolls as we usually do even if it takes longer; it is also, more scenic drive.

We left the town early by 10h50 or 10:50am and continue on the N405 then we took in city center Meaux the N3 our old road we took when visiting my girlfriend and going to Paris together !!! It has been a long time….We drove into the A104 La Francilienne on the northern beltway around Paris. we hook up with the N2 directioin Soissons for a while to connect again with the N104 la Francilienne around the CDG airport. This roads hooks up with the A3 direction Bobigny Centre and then quickly into the A86 passing north by Saint Denis and Asniérés sur Seine.  We took the D7 along the Seine with Paris on the other side or our left hand side.  This is my old road taken to work duties many times.

We continue on the D7 along the Seine passing nice Boulogne-Billancourt and the Alfred  Kahn gardens. Eventually passing on the other side of the Bois de Boulogne and the racecourse or hippodrome de Longchamps. Passing by Saint Cloud and my old wine club shopping!!! until hook up with the A13 autoroute direction Rouen or also known as the AutoRoute de Normandie.  we passed by our beloved Versailles, and sadly no time to stop by this time.  We hook up here on the A12 autoroute direction Dreux. Following it up on the N12 direction Dreux.  This is a long east west national road that links up with Normandie and even Bretagne. We passed by Houdan, Dreux, Nonancourt, Verneuil sur Avre, the old region of La Perche again, and onwards to around Alençon, right thru Mayenne, around Fougéres, and hook up with the A84 autoroute or the Route des Estuaires. You go straight into the rocade of Rennes or N136 direction Lorient. At the porte de Lorient or gate to Lorient hook up with the N24 direction Lorient.  We continue until the exit sortie D768 Baud that brings us down home. Arriving by 21h or 9pm.

And another wonderful trip with little traffic jams except a bit around the A86 in Paris area. Now starts preparation for the Christmas eve meal ,and we have it all ready at home, sweet home. Next post the food of the trip and the Cathedral.

Be merry and have a wonderful Holiday Season wherever you are in our still wonderful world. Cheers!

Meaux N157 N157 N104 N104  N104  N12 N12 N12 N2 A140 D907 D7 D7 D7 D7 D7 A140 A104 A86 A86 A86 A86 A86 A13 A12 A11 A11 A11 A11 A11 A11 A11 A10 A4 A4 A3 A3

 

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