Quotes

Aug 13, 2014

Venice Everywhere: Le P’ti Maraîchin

THE STORY:

Here a Venice, there a Venice, everywhere a Venice, Venice. It turns out that Brugge, the Venice of the North, and Venice, the Venice of the world, are not the only Venices out there, and that Aprémont is not the only Venice of France, even. La Petite Venise (Little Venice) in Colmar is, without a doubt, the Venice of Alsace. Or at least, without a doubt, the Venice of Colmar.

  

And then, abruptly, the town ends, and we're in a marsh.
 
 
Strasbourg is a big city, so no marshes, but there are lovely canals. Here the old section of town, with all the canals, is called "La Petite France". We go on a boat ride through the locks to tour it, then turn around and walk it all over again.
 
 
And, of course, there's a Venice that represents Italy at Europa Park.
 

And I'm not going to write a post every time I come across more Venices, because this would soon become a different blog altogether: "A Year in Venices". But just for the record, the Venice of France (or of the Alps) is in Annecy-le-Vieux, though there's also a Sète, the Venice of Languedoc; Brantome, the Venice of the Dordogne;  and Port Grimaud, the Venice of the French Riviera. I'm sure there are other Venices as well. Do you know where your nearest Venice is?

THE CHEESE: Le P’ti Maraîchin

A Maraîchin is a person, a dialect, and, in this case, a cheese from the Vendée region. It's based on the old dialect, the old way of talking. But it's a fairly new-fangled method of cheese production: industrial cheese from pasteurized cow's milk.


Many of the Vendée pasteurized cheeses are made by the same manufacturer and look, and taste, virtually identical. There's a mild stink, a rubbery texture, and a slight sugary-sweat-sock. I can't say I'm a fan of any of them, and I'm very grateful I only had to buy a few and got to sample the rest. Thank goodness for friendly grocery store ladies, because most of the rest of these wheels would have gone in the trash.

THE CONNECTION:

First and foremost, le P’ti Maraîchin is another cheese made by the Union Laitière de la Venise Verte (The Dairy Union of the Green Venice). And since the cheese means, more or less, "small one from the marsh", it seems fairly fitting for the mini, often-marsh-like, pseudo-Venetian canals.

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