Tuesday, July 3, 2012

June 18-19, 2012: Our first days in Cluny!

On Monday, we started the day off with breakfast at the hostel, which was bread, tea, and butter or jam. It’s definitely a change from the breakfasts some are used to in America, but because I don’t like eating large breakfasts, it was alright for me. We then proceeded to have our first class, which was a review in biochemistry. We reviewed glycolysis and the fermentative pathways, which are important when making fermented products, such as cheese and wine. The review was very helpful, because I needed to brush up on that topic. Afterwards we went to Café du Nord, and had our first two hour lunch. I had a Croque Monsieur and salad, and for dessert, mousse au chocolat. It was very good! 

Afterwards, we came back to the classroom and met with Dr. Reinert to take our first tour of Cluny. The town is so beautiful, and the shops are absolutely adorable! Additionally, the town has so much history. It was at one point the largest church in Christendom, but most of it got torn down during the French Revolution. During our tour, we went to the top of Tour des Fromages (the Cheeses tower), which gave us an absolutely breathtaking view of the town. Additionally, there was a screen there that had a digital representation of what the town would look like if the church was still there, which was really interesting to see.

After our tour, we proceeded to stop at the intermarche, which is the supermarket. I love going to grocery stores, so I was very excited to see what a French grocery store was like. They had a huge selection of cheeses and meats to choose from! Dr. Haggblom also told us a bit about the cheeses that were in the case. 

 So. Much. Cheese!!!

After picking up a few supplies, we went back to the hostel, and got ready to eat dinner. We then called it a day and went back to the hostel to sleep. 

The next day, we had class in the morning and finished reviewing the biochemistry and began talking about the microbiology that is involved when making cheese and wine. After our class, we went to lunch, and I had a delicious salad with shrimp, and it had a crostini with an herb cream cheese with cured salmon. It was delicious and so fresh! I unfortunately forgot to take a picture of it though--I was too excited to eat it and I got carried away! :)

We then went to the museum of the abbey of Cluny, where we explored the history of the town even further. We saw many models of what the town would look like if it was not destroyed during the French revolution, and we also saw the remains of what was uncovered from the Earth and placed together. 

Afterwards, the class went to the Intermarche again in order to pick up supplies for our picnic for the next day at the Domaine Perraud winery. We picked up a variety of cheeses, meats, fruits, and some vegetables to enjoy. I was excited to try out what everyone had picked and couldn’t wait for the next day to start!

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