My teen had a French exchange student over recently who came from Epinal in Les Vosges. This part of France is famous for it’s Munster cheese. Her parents sent these gifts…Munster (which stank the train out) and hand-made chocolates. I love the little cardboard pictures on the chocolates…there’s something so sweetly provincial about them. They look hand-coloured… reminiscent of Hansel and Gretel, fairy tales in the woods…
I’ve spent several weeks in Les Vosges as I had an ex-boyfriend from there. It’s one of the least touristy places in France, for the British anyway. There are plenty of Germans, in fact, it used to be part of Germany for a while, L’Alsace-Lorraine, between 1871 and 1919. The local dialect incorporates many German words.
It’s lush, green, filled with pine forests. Perfect for cheese. Many of the men make their own electricity with water mills installed on the mountain streams. The people are hardy and self-sufficient.
My dad once bought some Munster when we were on holiday. It smelled so bad it made my mum cry.
I love smelly cheese.