Cheese, dairy produce, eggs
A farm which is typical of the Causse region. Large stone buildings and a shale roof. Two dogs stand guard in the yard while carefree cats are basking in the sun. The farmer is busy. After milking, which fortunately is now an automated process, she spends much of her day making dairy produce and cheeses. These require time and expertise. Numerous stages are necessary: milk clotting, moulding, draining, salting.…. Cheese making is the art of patience. Meanwhile, she prepares ewe’s milk yoghurts and cheese sieves, which sell well in the farm shop.
Locals as well as passers-by, like produce which is sold directly by producers. They are often curious about this farm life they know nothing about, and ask lots of questions. “How long does it take for a cheese to mature?”, asks a gentleman. “It depends… For some it can take several months!”, “I really like butter”, said a kid, “is it difficult to make?” “Oh no, just beat the cream, drain it well and your butter is done! You can make it at home if you wish… Go on, try one of these small buttered slices of bread ” says the farmer, smiling.
The majority of visitors fill their shopping bags with dairy produce, and with eggs laid on the same day, goat’s or ewe’s cheese made from raw milk, and cow’s milk tomme for cooking the Aligot from Lozère (melted cheese blended into mashed potatoes) accompanied by delicious highland meats. The farmer takes the opportunity to communicate her own recipe – reminding them to beat vigorously with a large wooden spoon as soon as the slices of tome cheese had been added to the puree. This is the secret method to obtain the renowned “natural cheese strings” in this dish.
Outside, the chickens are cackling gleefully, and you can hear the occasional moo of a cow, the bleating of a ewe, a goat … and barking dogs announcing a visitor. That’s life on the farm.