Jump to content
  • Welcome to the eG Forums, a service of the eGullet Society for Culinary Arts & Letters. The Society is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization dedicated to the advancement of the culinary arts. These advertising-free forums are provided free of charge through donations from Society members. Anyone may read the forums, but to post you must create a free account.

Visit to the Alpine Fromagere in Bessans

Recommended Posts

In the town of Bessans we stopped off at the Fromagerie.



His shop is on the street. Mr. Melot makes Beaufort and Tomme de Savoie right in his shop, which smells of rich cheese curds and envelopes you in a humid almost sweet atmopshere, cool and fresh. It was an interesting shop, he had his own cheeses, and also sold some of the other local cheeses, wines, jellies and jams and crafts made by other townspeople, like the hand carved spoons.


I asked if I could take some photos and he agreed. He did not speak much or offer us any commentary, silently standing in his workshop as I quietly took some photos. He finally spoke when we asked him some questions, though.

One full tub to one wheel of cheese. He starts two of these a day.


New curds in first press before adding the wood bands which are progressively replaced by smaller and smaller bands.


Tomme de Savoie. He does about 10 per day.




He starts a few cheeses a day and has two different caves off site in which he ages them, usually for about 18 months.


The lait cru he sells is kept in a tub of tap water. The town itself is just below a glacier which is constantly melting. The tap serves ice cold water all the time, so this is enough to keep the milk nice and fresh.


As we left he went out back to hang his cheese cloths to dry.


He said that it was a very time consuming job and he never gets to take vacations or days off, ever. I asked him if he ever takes stagieres, you know, to learn how to make cheese. He said, yes, but he normally takes stagieres that generally have some knowledge of cheesemaking, from the cheese school. If anyone is interested in contacting Mr. Melot to set up a stage, you can write to him (In French) and address the envelope: R. Melot, 73480 Bessans, France. He might teach you a thing or two if you're willing to put in a few weeks of labor. :cool:

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Your photographs are astonishingly excellent!

And what a pleasant trip for a summer's day. . .

(You did not ask him if the spaceship of cheese bacilli stops at his shop, did you?

:biggrin: )

Thanks for a very pleasant vicarious experience, nice post!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • Create New...