Aaah! What a wonderful cheese! On the first picture, you see the essentials you have to know: shape, colour, texture, and from the tags you see it is of certified origin (appellation d’origine controlee, like for wines and other products in France) and also the tag mentioning it is made with raw cow milk.
Real food is not plastic food: on picture 2, you see the dairyman (?) wears no gloves, the cheeses are exposed, some are already wrapped, but cheese is a natural product, and natural products are best as nature does them. . . . . behind his right hand, you see the beige very old cheeses, very strong, impossible to eat raw, but wonderful in many dishes like quiches, filet mignon. . .
Don’t they look wonderful on picture 3? Brie de Meaux are the big thin wheels, and there are also Coulommiers, another cheese of the area, Brie de Melun, Camembert, and other cheeses. It is too difficult to write about without eating a piece! On picture 4 is the Brie de Melun, a wonderful cheese too, but a bit sweeter, and on its left is a Brie de Meaux, a bit old, brown, must be strong. . . .
I cannot resist to show you a close-up of this cheese (picture 5): look the consistency, texture are just perfect: almost flowing, but not flowing, fat appearance, shining, fermentation bubbles, but not too much etc, etc. . . . Bon appétit!
The market hall is located in the middle of the area comprised in the meander of the Marne river; this hall has been erected in 1879, and is made of steel and glass.
In this hall is where the locals come to buy fresh food for their week ends; only the general view already is mouth watering. . . .
You find of course the famous cheese on the market (next tip), but it is very well stocked, with local vegetable and fruit production; all usual meat poultry, etc. . . but there are lots of local products, and many peasants sell their production, not only retailers; and food markets are so nice, just walk between the stalls, look, enjoy. . . . . and may be you find something for the picnic you will have on the banks of the river. . . ?
Every Saturday morning, traders, storekeepers install their stalls and trucks on the cobblestones of the market bridge (Pont du marché) and the streets of the market area, next to the market hall. In the streets, you can find about everything, from clothes, appliances, cheap jewellery to souvenirs; food is in the market hall. The cathedral tower watches over, of course! Except the food we will see in a next tip, nothing really special on this market, just it is Meaux, and on a sunny morning it is enjoyable to look around.
The Marne is the river which gives its name to the department de la Marne, Meaux is a sous-prefecture; the Marne, few km downstream was the location of the battle in 1914, at the beginning of World war one, when the advance of German troops was stopped at the famous Bataille de la Marne and thanks the famous taxis de la Marne; Gen. Foch requisitioned the taxis to transport troops quickly to the battle location; France nearly escaped a new Sedan a new 1870.
Well now the banks of the Marne are very peaceful and you can see nice boats moored on the quays under the watch of the cathedral. The market bridge (Pont du Marché) links two parts of the city across the river and on market days it is closed to traffic (picture 2). I like the idea that peace here can be symbolised by this swan gliding past the bridge (picture 3) He is just joining his colleagues downstream (picture 4).
Coming from the train station along the banks of the river, you can see the two biggest buildings of Meaux: the cathedral and the city hall, like on picture 5. One may want to go immediately to see the small streets, but I suggest to take some time and walk along the quays, specially the left bank along the meander between Pont Neuf and Pont Jean bureau, from where you can have nice vistas on the city and the cathedral dominating its city.
When I came out to the car to pack in our suitcase I saw this ship coming. So I take my camera quickly and shot a photo. Sit down and enjoy the river and its ships.....
By the way, there are many boats and house boats on the Marne river .... and it must be a great thing to cruise aloung these rivers ....