A dinner of tradition:
After my day of fromagerie visits, my hostess Marion had offered to serve me raclette for dinner. Raclette we did do, just minus the Raclette cheese--it does not come from the Jura region so Marion does not serve it. Raclette is the process of melting cheese and then scraping it over potatoes. In Switzerland, where the cheese originates, one would do raclette with Raclette, but here we do it with the region's specialties: Mont d'Or--a bloomy rind, soft-ripened cheese--, Bleu de Gex, and a thrid that two bottles of Jura chardonnay have since erased from my memory. (oops!)
Marion had a special contraption for this meal. It was a sort of two-story hot plate. The top, a flat non-stick surface for heating the potatoes, and the bottom, a heated surface with special mini non-stick pans for heating a 2" x 1" piece of cheese. We each grabbed our heated potatoes from the top, then heated our cheese to scrape over them. Ham, cornichons, and bread accompanied our raclette.
Over dinner, Marion, my travel companion, and I discussed the Jura region, cheese, architecture, and literature. The next day promised a visit to a large, well-known cheesemaking facility and a visit to a much smaller organic cheesemaking facility. This night we started the Jura cheese tradition and continued to work backwards, from the cheese's consumption, it's sale and storage in a fromagerie, and finally its fabrication.