Aug 9, 2014

Color Explosion: Le Fleuri des Embetsches


One of the best things about coming to Alsace from Paris is the transition from a black-and-white life to one bursting in color. It helps that it's summer, and there are flowers everywhere. So here, a little tour of some of the lovely, brightly-painted villages of Alsace.

Bergheim, from the 14th century, is almost unpopulated. One of the things that cracks me up is that this is not even a flower shop. They sell jam. But of course!


The town of Riquewihr is a little 16th century fortified town.

At Obernai, the walls go back even further, to the 12th century. It's less colorful, but still highly picturesque with all the timber.

Ribeauvillé, surrounded by vineyards, is the first one we come across, and everything is as cute as can be. The whole area is known for the storks, which we see in full force:


They think it's pretty special, too:

Hunawihr is known as the Church in the Vineyard. You can see why.

Even the bigger cities look nothing like Paris. Strasbourg:


Colmar is considered the jewel of the region, and the old section is lovely. There are even remains back to Gallo-Roman times, with a 3rd century mosaic fragments. But in the end, we prefer the tinier towns:
We get to check the Maison Pfister off our list. It is, perhaps, not all that exciting, but it satisfies the urge to see it, based on the fact that it's one of our pieces in the Memory Match game.


THE CHEESE: Le Fleuri des Embetsches

Le Fleuri des Embetsches, which means the "Flowered One from the Embetsches" comes from a small farm just outside of Colmar. The organic farm, the Chèvrerie des Embetsches, has a small herd of goats and makes small batches of this small farmhouse cheese from the raw milk.

This creamy, tangy cheese is -- by far -- everybody's favorite cheese from Alsace. Salty, zingy, wet, and oozy. Yum. Between the cheeses we try there and those that we buy, there's probably a dozen or so cheeses, and this is the undisputed winner.


These cities and villages are colorful, and doubly so because of all the flowerboxes in the windows. So a local cheese called "Fleuri" ("flowered") seems appropriate.



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