"Brie de Meaux" Meaux by kokoryko
Meaux Travel Guide: 36 reviews and 170 photos
Brie de Meaux, bris de mots ? Pris de maux ? Prie de mots? Brocs de mie? Maux d’épris? . . . . well, just playing a bit with words and, a minimal knowledge in French language is needed to follow. . . In fact this VT page is – among other subjects – about the KING OF CHEESES! It is not only me who calls the Brie de Meaux the king of cheeses, many celebrities and anonymous people think the same since a few centuries.
Most important, one day you have to taste it and make your opinion about this very important matter, and your opinion is the most important.
I love to eat cheese, there is no real meal, in many parts of France without cheese, and if there is no Brie on the cheese platter, I know people who would say: something may be missing!
But to make your own opinion, there is a big difficulty since sanitary rules and laws, more than pleasure and taste regulate the production of cheese in Europe; in France less than 16% of cheeses are made with raw milk, and raw milk cheeses, if not banned from supermarkets, are more and more difficult to find in shops and supermarkets; what one can find are “fake cheeses” made with microfiltered, pasteurized milk, which are allowed to keep the names like Camembert, Brie, Reblochon, Saint Nectaire, etc. . . . For the real cheeses, the raw milk cheeses, (which, by the way, bear health risks ** only for Euro-technocrats, American FDA and industrial food companies) you need to go to the production areas, or very specialised shops in big cities, and there, check carefully the labels, be sure the cheese is made with “lait cru” (Raw milk). Camembert or Brie you find in New York, Berlin or Tokyo are not real ones in general, it is very difficult to import these cheeses, and you get only ersatz. Ah! Just a short diatribe, to tell I love real cheese, also the “cooked or pasteurized milk cheeses” like the Beaufort, Emmental, Stilton, and many more; some cheeses are good when they are made with raw milk, other wonderful cheeses are done with cooked milk!
Ah it is a travel page, and it is about Meaux, in the Île de France, the cradle of France, but Meaux without Brie cheese is not Meaux.
Meaux is well known for its cathedral and the Episcopal palace where the very famous bishop Bossuet, a nightmare for students in French literature classes, wrote most of his works. And, indeed, the Episcopal palace, the garden, the museum, all located close to the cathedral are worth to see. Nice walks under the ramparts offer nice views of the city, and strolling in the old medieval streets is a nice thing to do withy nice weather, cross the bridges over the Marne river, see the market hall, even be lucky to be there a market day. . .
Little is known about the early settlers of Meaux, the Meldes, who lived on the shores of the Marne River; after the conquest of Gallia by Caesar, the Roman built a military post and remains of ramparts of that time can be seen. Battles and wars ruled the life in the cradle of France in high Middle Age till the construction of the cathedral which began at the end of the 12th century. Meaux is sadly known for the Meaux treatise, which ends the crusade against the Cathars and the submission of southern France to the kings of France. From time to time during the hundred years war, Meaux was English.
The 17th century was marked by the presence in Meaux of the Eagle of Meaux, Bishop Jacques-Benigne Bossuet, preceptor of the future Sun King (Louis XIV).
Meaux is located on the east of Paris, that means on the road to Germany (or road to Paris for the German) and was the transit point of protestant ideas or German philosophical thinking, but also passage of German troops since Napoleonian wars till WW II. Many battles took place in Meaux and surroundings and not a lot of the medieval city is left; most of the stained glass windows of the cathedral have been destroyed during the battles, old houses have disappeared. . . . Meaux is not a martyr city like many in eastern France, but it has suffered from the two last wars, and luckily few of the medieval windows of the cathedral have “survived” and have been renovated: beautiful colours, of course, but also incredibly sensitive representations of Biblical characters.
Meaux is located about 40 km East of Paris and can be very easily be reached by train from Gare de l’Est (35-45 mn), by car, and what I prefer, and did a few times, by bike, along the “Canal de l’Ourq”, a very pleasant and easy ride along a canal, passing in villages of the “Craddle of France”. Good is to go one way by bike and the other way by train.
Many people visiting Paris like to go for another place, one or two days, as I read from the VT forum, and Meaux could be one of these places easily accessible (ah! I do not have a hotel tip). I will take you to visit a few nice places in Meaux, with cathedral, market, banks of the Marne. . . . . . and wish you to find a real cheese on the market, not to bring back home, but to enjoy on the spot or take for the picnic, if you bike back to Paris. . . . :)))
You also can have a walk along the Marne banks and enjoy the views of the boats, and see the cathedral dominating the city.
In rue St Remy, with view on the cathedral are a number of small restaurants. I tried a Turkish restaurant and was quite... more travel advice
Meaux is 30 to 45 mn distant from Paris Est train station; there is a train about every half hour, so Meaux is very easy... more travel advice
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