Jeff Steiner's Americans in France.
Resource for people that would like to live or travel in France.



Daily Life



Moving Planner

Q & A

Reading List


Travel Planner


Expat Store

Driver's License




Learn French

Tax Services


NewsletterOctober 2007

What type of cheese is this?

French Cheese

Local Produce

One of the weekly routines my family and I have developed is buying cheese, milk and sometimes eggs from a local farm. This is one experience I never had growing up in Los Angeles! The farm is called Les Chenevifs. The name comes from the hamlet where the farm is located.
Les Chenevifs has about 80 or so milk cows, mostly the race Abondance. From the milk cheese is made. The farm keeps some of the milk. With this milk it produces and makes Abondance cheese; a slice of which you can see above. The name Abondance comes from a mountain village of the same name in the region where Les Chenevifs is located and I live.
Abondance is a semi-hard cheese made from raw-milk. The milk is not pasteurized, just filtered. Les Chenevifs sells milk directly to the public, as long as you bring your own container! On a few occasions we bought warm milk, just milked from the cow.
Cheese is made daily and sold directly from the farm. The cheese is kept in the ageing room adjacent to the farm store. We buy the aged cheese. The rest is sold to affineurs (cheese agers) who as their title suggest, age cheese and sell when ready. Abondance is usually ready to eat after three months ageing.
The rest of the milk not kept by the farm is sold to cheese makers who make Reblochon. Reblochon is much different than Abondance. It is soft; colored white, sold in small cheese rounds and is very smelly. Reblochon is also often used for cooking. Abondance is harder (but not hard like Comté), yellowish and pressed into much bigger cheese rounds. Note: Here is the Wikipedia entry on Reblochon. The name has an interesting history.
Abondance is easy to spot at any cheese shop as it has a distinctly indented round edge that can’t be missed once you have seen it.
You can see photos of the Les Chenevifs farm here.

Trip to Paris (continued)

Not only was I able to visit Paris’ Chinatown during my recent trip to the city of light (see newsletter September 2007) I was also able to visit the grave of Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone de Beauvoir. Who interestingly enough are buried together. They are buried in Cimetière du Montparnasse. This cemetery is not as famous as Père Lachaise but it is still worth a visit if you are nearby.

Working in France

One major difference I’ve found between France and the United States is how work is viewed. The way I put it is: Americans live to work, the French work to live. Now of course I’m making a bit of a stereotype here but in my time in France this statement seems to hold true.
For example the French minimum for paid vacation time is five weeks per year for a full time worker. No matter the job or pay. In America this is no minimum. That’s not to say people in America don’t take vacations just that there is no law spelling out vacation rights.
In America having minimum vacation time isn’t very important. In France it is. It’s a cultural difference between the two countries. In my opinion Americans tend to see time as a chance to earn money where as the French see time as something to be enjoyed.

B & B

WEBB'S OF GLOMEL: Why not stay at Clifford and Mary-Ellen's home, a Bed & Breakfast in Glomel, Brittany. We have converted our village house into a very comfortable home with five rooms to choose from. All bedrooms are en-suite and also have small refrigerators, tea/coffee trays, CD radios, heaters and hairdryers. Well behaved dogs are welcome, Garden with BBQ available. Four mountain bikes for free loan. Game room. We are set in a typical Breton village, with shops, bars and restaurant, Brest to Nantes canal skirts the edge of the village, ideal area for walking and cycling also centrally located to explore Brittany.

French Video Immersion

Sign-up for the FREE Americans in France newsletter.
Just type in your e-mail address and click 'Subscribe'.





Search Site

Travel Store



Auto Rentals



Phone Card


SIM Card


Terms &

This site
uses Cookies!

Terms of Service


Follow me
on Twitter.

Facebook Page

RSS Feed