Cheese Travels with Jim Wallace

A journal of travels to explore the old ways, history, and process. Visits with the cheese makers and photographs of the surrounding beauty. Jim teaches traditional cheesemaking in the US and can be contacted via ...

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Western Massachusetts USA, United States
I have been visiting cheese makers throughout Europe for many years now, researching the old ways of traditional cheese making . I currently teach several workshops on traditional cheese making in the US and can be contacted at ... ____ In my recent past I have traveled the wild places of this planet making photographs and fine prints. The blend of my cheese travels and making photographs combines the best of both worlds.

January 3, 2010

Sept 22 through the Tarantaise Mountains of France

Finally, sunny and bright! After yesterdays long drive left us shy of our goal to spend the night in the cheese town of Beaufort and since today was such a beautiful day, we felt we would make it a leisurely drive through the mountains and just enjoy the day.  This was a great choice and made up for the past week or so of rain.

Our travels took us down through the valley from Val d'Iser to the town of Bourge St Maurice which is the heart of Beaufort cheese country. The caves for Beaufort Cheese here are a superb place to find the best examples of one of the worlds finest cheese. No disappointment here for us except that Robins glasses were probably still sitting on the counter when we left.

From there it was back up into the "High Country" As we traversed the mountains again to the small cheese town of Beaufort. one of my favorite diversions is the drive to Ville des Glaciers on the way to Cormet de Roselend. The end of this valley leaves us at the base of Mt Blanc with all of its glaciers hanging off the mountain (at least for the near future). Quite a spectacular place.

The late morning and early afternoon drive took us through some of the finest Alpine pastures with the wonderful Tarantaise preparing their wonderful milk for the evenings cheesemaking. Nothing like the sound of these animals munching away on the fleurs n grasses while their bells echo across the valley.

One of our favorite lunch stops is at the head of Lac Roselend and since it was close to the the end of our journey our next priority was an extended lunch and wine as we lay in the warm sun. Time to clean up the cheese bits we have accumulated and wash it down with the remaining wine. Life is good on days like this so it was late afternoon before we packed ourselves up for the drive down to our hotel in the town of Beaufort. A good dinner and a nights sleep and we will be good to go again.

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