Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Week deux was full of firsts for me. We took a trip to the Pyrenees to tour the countryside, visit local farms, make nice with the locals, and eat some cheese. Thinking back, it all went by in a flash, but I'll never forget the warm welcome received, particularly in Arrigas. After meeting with our tour guide Stefan -a local land owner and socialite- we began by touring a very prestigious cheese factory. Societe; located in Roquefort-sur-Soulzon, is home to the famous French brand of blue cheese "Roquefort." If I'm honest, I knew going in that blue cheese isn't for me and yet I also knew that I had to try it. As a matter of fact, after touring the facilities and learning the history of Roquefort, I came out wanting to try it. I still don't like blue cheese but it was a great experience.

And forget about the Pyrennes. Pictures just don't do it...

In addition to taking in the beautiful countryside, other highlights include touring both goat and beef farms; all of which are independently owned and family operated, enjoying french cuisine prepared by a professionally trained yet humble chef/restaurateur named Sam -owner of Le Causse, and just following Stefan as he showed us his own herd of goats and plot of land nestled in a shallow valley. There I drank truly fresh water for the first time, right out of the earth. Slightly metallic downstream a bit due to a few metal plates arranged to channel water flow yet it was crisp, clear, and cold right from the source. I remember wishing I had a bottle so I could take some with me. Even if it was already full, I would have emptied it just to take some of Stefan's spring water with me.

Thanks Sam!

"The hills are alive." 

Whats fresher than fresh?

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