Saturday, June 17, 2017

Cheese Tour while Camping

Cheese is Awesome!

As we buy different cheeses at the grocery store, we notice that the labels tell us where the cheese is from.  Much like champagne from any other region than Champagne is only sparkling wine, a camembert not from the Camembert region is something different.  My favorite cheese is a cantal jeune.  So, when we went camping in the middle of France to escape the heat, it was an awesome bonus that it happened to be in the region known for cantal cheese.  

As we know the kids don't like to do anything, or at least they say this when we ask them what they want to do for the weekend adventure, we knew that whatever we picked would be unacceptable.  So, we told them that we were going to do 3 activities during the weekend (other than hang out at the campground).  These activities were cheese tour, explore a volcano, and go to a volcano amusement park.  They were not interested in any of these, as expected.  Finally we asked them to rank the one that they would dislike the least and they seemed to agree that the volcano amusement park would be that one.  More on that later.  

Saturday morning, after Dan finished his bike ride and we ate lots of pain au chocolat from the local campground store, we headed out to the cantal region.  Fortunately the display case at the camping ground check-in had a bunch of activity brochures, including a map of cheeses.  One of the cheese places was open in the morning.  

After an hour drive, we arrived at the cheese place!  It sort of looked like a factory outlet store for cheese with a fairly empty parking lot.  

Exciting Parking Lot Picture

We walked inside to find a small store with a cheese counter.  The children walked in, and immediately walked out, complaining about the smell.  We tried to convince them to come in and participate in the cheese adventure, but they did not think that was a good idea.  So, we explained, in French, to the confused people at the counter that we were American and the children thought the cheese smelled bad.  Then, we further convinced them that we were American by asking to taste a cheese that I had not seen before.  However, it was not a cheese for tasting or eating, although I was welcome to do so if I insisted.  It was a cheese that was used for cooking.  I guess kind of like a cooking wine.  You don't really taste it, you just cook with it.  So, in line with the strange reaction they had to me asking for a taste, I followed their lead and did not taste it.  

We bought three cheeses, a cantal jeune, a cantal entre-deux (aged longer), and another cheese that Dan picked.  We got about 300 grams of each cheese.  Total price, 10 euro, an amazing deal.  I guess it is cheap to buy cheese direct.  

More Cheese

Next, we followed google maps to the next place of fromage.  Unfortunately, it was the actual factory where the cheese was made, not the place they sold it.  So we continued onward and found another cheese store.  This one also had the little cheese counter with a brief assortment of cheese.  We got a cantal jeune, and a tomme gris.  It cost 3 euro.  Dan tried to pay 13 euro (trois and treize sound similar), and we laughed with the lady about how cheap cheese is here compared to the United States.


The children safely avoided the cheese by sitting by the car, across the parking lot.

Smells like Parking Lot

Next, we continued up the road.  We thought it might be time for a restroom break.  We saw on the map that we were almost to Chanterelle.  As Chateau Chanterelle is a video game level in one of the kids' Kirby Nintendo U games, we stopped.  It was a small, quiet town.  Quite unlike the video game version.  

Chanterelle - No Coins Here

Finally we stopped at a small village a bit more up the road.  There was an event where people were getting together with their classic cars to drive them around in the mountains.  We quickly got some bread and left ahead of the crowd.

As we were in a volcanic region, there were a bunch of lakes around.  We stopped at Lake Pavin.  As Alex had somehow forgotten to put shoes on before he got into the car, Dan ended up porting him around.  I don't understand how he isn't too big for this kind of thing.  But then again, I don't understand how he forgets his shoes either.

Take me to the Lake!

Lake Selfie with Will

An amazing day, with amazing cheese.

Cheese, and Bread, and Jam

And cheeseburgers...

Who put that disgusting ketchup on their perfectly good cheeseburger on baguette?

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