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Apr 12, 2015

W!zz Me Away!: Tomme de Chèvre du Pays d’Abondance

THE STORY:

Can a good deal be too good? It seems possible, as we travel around Europe, that some of these flights are so cheap, it makes you wonder... For example, I have just booked a plane from Budapest to Rome for about $35 on W!zz Airlines. I have this vague feeling I've been duped, and when I get to the airport with my W!zz e-ticket printouts, the desk agents will simply W!zz themselves laughing.



On a recent flight to and from Lisbon, I flew in on Vueling (rhymes with "swelling", not "fueling", though I certainly hope they are fueling as necessary). I flew back on Transavia airlines, leading me and the friends I'd traveled with in Portugal to start speaking in Dracula accents, "Velcome to Paaah-ris, and tank you for flying Transavia. Stay seated until ve arrrrrrrive at ze gates......of Hell." I paid around $60 each way for those flights, but I could have had a flight from Paris to Lisbon for 12€ -- around $15 -- if I had been less picky about my days and times.



These are not just 20-minute hopper flights, either. My parents will fly from Athens to Budapest, to meet us there, jumping over around four countries in a 2-hour flight that costs $26 each. It's absurd, especially when you consider we paid extra for good flight times and days.



The more famous cheap European airlines are EasyJet and RyanAir (great flights, but in Paris, you need to be willing to haul all the way out to BVA airport).  But every time I go to book a flight to a new place, I'm amazed by the vast number of tiny airlines I've never heard of before. Each one of them has a different, arbitrary, and irritating luggage allowance policy, hoping to make up the cheapness of the ticket with the charges for checking luggage. The luggage can, literally, double the cost of the trip (with a $30 luggage fee on top of a $30 ticket). On principle, I refuse to pay as much for my luggage as for my ticket, and I like to pack light anyway. So don't be surprised if I'm pretty much in the same outfit in my photos from any given trip.



Sure you've heard of Aer Lingus. But have you ever heard of Kalmarflyg? Kullaflyg? Edelweiss? Flybaboo? Hop!? Pegasus? Blue Air? Tarom? LOT Polish? Air Serbia? Abelag? Jetairfly? European Coastal? Central Connect? Star Air? Sun Air? Thomas Cook Airlines? Airrest? Smartlynx? Flybe? Nordic Global? Snowbird? Turku? TUIfly? Eurowings? Minoan? BlueBird? Farnair? Solyom Hungarian? Primera? WOW? Aviajet? Stobart? Air Prishtina? Inversija? Aviavilsa? Avion Express? Small Planet? West Air Luxembourg? Aeromak? Medavia? Nobil? Tandem Aero? OKI Air? Arkefly? Denim Air? Fonnafly? NetJets? TAP Portugal? Carpatair? Tiriac?

Given the recent tragic crash en route from Barcelona to Dusseldorf of the Germanwings flight -- another small carrier you've never heard of, though it's a low-cost carrier for Lufthansa, which you have -- the timing of this observation may seem macabre, and not in a funny-fake-Dracula-accent way. It does make me wonder about the W!zzdom of my choice of air travel on tiny European carriers. But the flights are just so enticingly cheap.

THE CHEESE: Tomme de Chèvre du Pays d’Abondance

The name of the cheese pretty much says it all: a hard goat cheese from the Pays d'Abondance, which is the valley of Abondance, in Savoie and Haute-Savoie regions. This is basically an artisanal, raw goats' milk version of Tomme de Savoie, the local raw cows' milk hard cheese. Related Tomme de Chèvres are also made in neighboring valleys of Maurienne and Tarentaise, too.


Tomme de Chèvre du Pays d’Abondance is a classic cheese, made since the 17th century. It's made from uncooked, pressed milk, and matured for almost 2 months and the end result is crumbly, dense, salty, herbal, with hints of fruit and nuts.

THE CONNECTION:

This cheese, the Tomme de Chèvre du Pays d’Abondance, is named after the country of abundance, and this story is about an abundance of ways to visit various countries.

2 comments :

  1. jealous of the cheap flights but nervous about all the air disasters in the last 12 months too…Am going to go to the deli for cheese right now x

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hear you, sistah. But I'm back now -- no more flights in the near future. Just trains. Which are not just cheap, they feel even safer than cars. Hope you enjoyed your cheese.

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