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The triple anniversary of Cherbourg and the County

Direction Cherbourg, one of the destinations to discover this year because the city is celebrating a triple anniversary.

Exactly ! The city celebrates the 20th anniversary of the city of the sea. Very active city around events, exhibitions, meetings to allow everyone to access knowledge of the ocean and especially to understand its importance for the future of people and the planet. Another celebration: the 110th anniversary of the disappearance of the Titanic, which had made a stopover in Cherbourg, and finally the 55th anniversary of the launch of the 1st French nuclear submarine, the Redoutable.

And where is the Redoubtable today?

It is located within the City of the Sea. And the least we can say is that it is imposing with its 9,000 tons on the scale. And you can get on board: it’s the only submarine in the world that is treated in an immersive version and that allows the public to visit it for 1 hour. The fantastic thing is that you delve into the secrets of the life of submariners.

Some of them were also called golden ears. Why ?

Because it is the submariners who were trained for almost 5 years at the sound interpretation center in Toulon. And them, they listen to the tone of the boats, their nationality, their activity and their dangerousness. More than perfect ears they are analysts. They have a special status because their position is central and they report directly to the commander. The ears of the submarine are essential since he is blind.

This visit is very strong. We experience confinement on board. we don’t come out unscathed. And it’s very well done because you enter the submarine with the impression that the crew could have left it 30 minutes earlier. I could not in reality, since there are no more benchmarks for 70 days. We understand how much of a human adventure this is.

Do you have an address Vanessa to put her suitcases on the surface this time?

A hotel with a view of the port: La Régence, a Bristol atmosphere. The Hôtel le Cercle, a charming 3-star hotel on the Place de la Mairie. And if not, on the bed and breakfast side: the Manoir de la Fieffe. A beautiful 16th century residence on the heights of Cherbourg. They also have a gite, the Gite des Fougères, very elegant in an old stone bakery.

Marion Sauveur, you are taking us to the Jura massif.

This is where one of the favorite cheeses of the French is made. If I tell you: a wheel of 40 kg which contains a raw milk cheese with a pressed paste, a slightly brown rind, a paste of light yellow to golden yellow color. It’s the county! And precisely, we have in the studio a county 24 months.

The paste is golden yellow… because it’s a cheese that was made with the milk of cows grazing in the flowery meadows… They’ve been there for almost a month… And that’s what gives a Comté with fruity aromas. Comté made in winter…when the cows eat hay…has a light yellow paste. And we celebrate all weekend the return of the cows to the pastures, with county meetings. On the menu: tastings, gourmet hikes, visits to farms, cheese dairies and ripening cellars.

How do we make Comté cheese?

There is no farming county. A Comté made by a dairy cow breeder and matured in the same place. The sector is organized differently: there are milk producers, cheese makers who work in what are called fruitières and finally refiners. 3 professions, each with its own complementary know-how.

The cheesemaker Nicolas Pianet of the Fruitière de la Vallée du Hérisson in Doucier, we are in the Jura, works with 14 dairy farms. Every day, he transforms 20,000 liters of milk into county. “It is collected at night. A few hours after this milk is received, we start manufacturing. So it’s very early in the morning. From milk to curd bread, only a few hours are needed: it takes 3 hours for the cheese to end up in the pressed mold. Afterwards, it takes 24 hours for it to be definitively pressed and acidified and ready to be unmolded”.

The Comté then spends between 15 and 30 days in the cellar for a pre-refining period… It is not Comté yet but what is called “fromage en blanc”. It will become Comté after spending at least 4 months in the hands of refiners.

And we cook this county?

Of course, I love it in croquettes. It’s dripping with happiness!

But this weekend, I wanted something fresh with a gourmet starter: a Comté-tomato tiramisu. We start by making a tomato puree, it’s a bit early with fresh tomatoes, so take candied tomatoes. Cut them into cubes and brown them with their oil for a few minutes over low heat and a little Espelette pepper and fresh basil. Then we mix.

Grated Comté is mixed with mascarpone, egg yolks and Espelette pepper. Gently add beaten egg whites. It remains to be prepared: at the bottom of the ramekin, crumble a breadstick. On top: the tomato compote and the Comté cream. To finish some shavings of Comté. And it’s ready! It’s best after 2 hours in the fridge. And meet today at the Fruitière de la Vallée du Hérisson in Doucier to discover how they make Comté cheese!

The Comté-tomato Tiramisu recipe

Ingredients :

  • 100g Comté
  • 50g mascarpone
  • 2 eggs
  • 10g of Espelette pepper powder
  • 20 candied tomatoes
  • 6 breadsticks
  • fresh basilic
  • salt
  • pepper

The recipe steps:

1. Start by making the tomato puree. Dice your candied tomatoes. Brown them in the oil in your jar. Simmer over low heat, with half the Espelette pepper and fresh basil, for 5 minutes. Leave to cool before blending.

2. Whisk the grated Comté with the mascarpone, the egg yolks and the rest of the Espelette pepper.

3. Whisk the egg whites and gently fold them into the Comté-Mascarpone mixture.

4. At the bottom of the ramekin, crumble a breadstick. Add the tomato compote on top. Then, the Comté cream. To finish some shavings of Comté. Leave in the fridge for at least 4 hours… and enjoy!

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