Livarot and Vimoutiers etc




We never reached this unfamiliar sounding place just outside Vimoutiers, but Mum and Dad could smell it anyway!


The Manoir de l’Isle in Livarot – home to one of many cheese museums












 Discussion on the Roche d’Oëtre and the Perroquet pancake house in Livarot


Dad and D on the steps to this château


Making cheese:

[their own translation]


Livarot, located in Normandy in the south country is a famous agricultural center for its cider and its dairy products.

Fame of Livarot rests on the quality of its famous cheese manufactured according to secular traditions.


Like all Norman cheeses, the notoriety of this cheese comes from the quality of milk employed. Thanks to the richness of the pastures of the country, the cows produce a milk very high quality.




At the farm. milk is collected two times per day, morning and evening. Before proceding milking, it should be nade sure that udders of the cow are cleaned. Milking can then begin. It is enough to pinch and to draw let us milk them of the cow two by two. Milking by hand can last of 15 to 20 minutes and it's possible to extract 20 to 30 liters of milk per day.




Creaming makes it possible to extract 97% to 99% from fat content of milk. It is obtained by the centrifugal force. Lighter cream remains at centre of the eddy, while heavier skimmed milk is forced to the outside.

Skim milk will be used for manufacture of cheese, while the cream after having rested, will be used for making butter.












Butter is formed by agglomeration of the fatty globules of the cream resulting from the creaming of milk. To obtain butter, it is necessary to agitate the cream in an intense way. Turning stops once the butter is thick enough, so the whey will be take back. Then butter came out then mixed. The purpose of mixing is to join together the small pieces of butter, and to expel water and butter milk which could have remained inside.





Part of skim milk is mixed with full cream milk. It is warmed around 28 degrees. A ferment is added, called rennet, the milk curdles after 30 minutes. The curds is broken and stirred to avoid the formation of clots. It is put to rest on light canvas attached to a wooden frame to allow the whey to seep out. The draining is helped by turning the cheeses over regularly. It is completed in moulds, for at least 24 hours.



To give its taste. to the cheese, to speed up and to develop the surface ferments, the cheeses are removed from the moulds and salted by hand.




They are laid on shelves where they are turned over several times a day. Two weeks later, the rind forms.


The cheeses are placed into a cellar where they will mature slowly for several weeks. The temperature is lowered from 250 to 1200, so the cheese becomes soft and smooth, and the flavour develops.


‑Before the final step, the cheese is, first washed with water and then, with "rocou" (originated from a tree in Central America) It gives the cheese its orange colour.


The matured cheese is surrounded with 5 turns of sedges (dried reed leaves) so that it remains circular.


It will have taken 3 months from the milking to the consumption and the use of 5 liters milks to obtain a livarot cheese.




The men knew to preserve the gestures which perpetuate the know‑how and the quality of the products of the soil.


To precise her qualities, the Livarot Cheese Brotherhood was created in 1990 for the three hundred years of the livarot cheese. It is for defending and promoting the livarot cheese around France.




Now, what is a British postbox doing outside Livarot’s post office?  The lady who took this photo explained that it was a present from the twinned town of South Molton.


Her husband used to be chairman of the twinning committee.












We suppose the cow was surrounded by a moat to prevent it catching foot and mouth!










And this young lady is to blame for the cheese….





While we ate, D noticed that the bells were ringing all sorts of little tunes every hour…. but the wind was so high and blustery that most of the effects were lost – still – this little imported ditty from the UK came out OK:

* Bells at Vimoutiers


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