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I read recently that époisses has a “sometimes intrusive character�. This is like saying that a sledgehammer to the face might “occasionally be distracting�. A well-aged époisses can clear a county. As with munster, however, the taste is more subtle and creamy than the nostrils are suggesting. Good job. This is a Burgundy cheese, washed during ripening with high-proof Marc de Bourgogne spirit. “The king of cheeses,� said the French gastronome Brillat-Savarin. (But he also said: “A meal without cheese is like a beautiful woman who’s missing an eye.�)

Cheese strategy: it’s in the less familiar Burgundian north, between Semur-en-Auxois and Châtillon-sur-Seine, that Caroline and Alain Bartkowiez will welcome you to their Marronniers farm, at Origny-sur-Seine (00 33-3 80 93 85 04). Nearer the beaten track, on the N74 Côte d’Or wine route just south of Dijon, the Fromagerie Gaugry (Brochon; 03 80 34 00 05, www.gaugryfromager.com) is a family-run dairy with free visits whenever the shop is open. On Saturday mornings, there's a guided visit with cheese and wine tasting at 9am (£5.80). Book ahead.

Stay and eat: Semur-en-Auxois is a belting medieval town, floating high above the river on its cliff. Its best hotel may be modern, but not everything in France can be ivy-clad. And the Hostellerie d’Aussois (Route de Saulieu; 03 80 97 28 28, www.hostellerie.fr; doubles from £75 in low season, £83 high) fulfils its three-star role satis-factorily. Good restaurant, too. Down towards Brochon, the Castel de Très Girard (7 Rue de Très Girard, Morey-St-Denis; 03 80 34 33 09, www.castel-tres-girard.com; doubles from £66/£79) is a stone mansion among posh vineyards, with excellent cheese on the menu.

Getting there: Lyon is a two-hour drive. Fly there with EasyJet (www. easyjet.com) or British Airways (0844 493 0787, www.ba.com). The region is a five-hour drive from Calais; cross the Channel with Sea France or P&O Ferries.

 
epoisses.txt · Last modified: 2013/07/15 09:20 (external edit)
 
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