Oct 12, 2014

The Green Way: Tomme d'Oudry


There's something liberating about riding around on a bike, and all the better when the scenery is something special. That's where the voies vertes (Green Ways) in southern Bourgogne come in. The region has a series of fabulous bike paths that lead you through the fields and castles and cute villages of Burgundy on bike-only paths that often bordering canals.
map and more information at http://www.la-bourgogne-a-velo.com/
Perhaps our favorite day in Burgundy is spent biking along old train tracks that have been converted into a voie verte. It's relatively flat, with beautiful French countryside, almost no traffic to worry about except at a couple small crossings, and views of the occasional castle popping up in the distance. ("Shall we ride to the castle, kids?" "Nooooooo!!!!") 
But at one point, Pippa's brakes break. We have the tool kit on our rental bikes; but as it is only us two non-mechanical moms and four kids, we very nearly call the rental company to come help us. Luckily, just before that happens, we swallow our pride and ask a man riding by in full racing gear for help. Within seconds he realizes that Pippa has accidentally wound the brake cable around her handlebars. He twists her handlebars around, and we're good to go. It is embarrassing, but much better than it would have been if we'd made somebody drive out to us from the rental shop.
My favorite thing to see on the ride, however, is the hay stacks. They're not unique to the Voies Vertes, nor even unique to Burgundy. But Burgundy certainly is a great place to see them.

You will occasionally see rectangular hay bales, but tube is my personal hay bale shape of choice.


At the end of the season, they wrap up the hay bales in green plastic. That has its own sort of charm.

Other than the fact that it's near impossible to rent bikes for the ride on a Sunday or holiday (when many people would actually want to rent them...), it's a great thing to do on a nice day in Burgundy.


Tomme d'Oudry is a rare, farmhouse cheese made from raw goats' milk, from the town of Oudry in Bourgogne. It's made at the family farm of Haut-Montot by Frédéric and François-Régis Rizet. There they raise some Charolaise cows and also a herd of 200 milking goats, with 7 bucks (is that right for a male goat? In French, it's a "bouc"), and a bunch of kids, with more kids brought in three times a year in order to keep the goats with milk. In the winter, they are fed hay harvested from the farm, and also grains. From April through August, they are fed fresh grasses.

Tomme d'Oudry is hard and crumbly, yet creamy once it's in your mouth. It's got a really lovely balance of salty and floral and is absolutely delicious. It's hard to find in Paris but is often stocked at Laurent Dubois.
Besides the fact that one of these little tommes actually looks like a big roll of hay, it's also got dried herbs on the crust that look like hay, and perhaps most importantly, the town of Oudry (surrounded by farm fields of hay) is on the path of the Voie Verte (the Green Way) bike trail. So the hay bales of Burgundy and the bike trails of Burgundy are somehow linked not just in my mind, but also in this delicious cheese.



  1. The wrapped bales look exactly like huge marshmallows on your last picture !


Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha - Premium Blogger Themes | Customized by Mihai