The first Saturday of every October, Melun, just 20 minutes east of Paris, celebrates it's Brie. The festival that takes over the town. Melun's shield design dates from the 15th century.
Last year I left empty handed. Not this time. The first Brie seller I came across, conveniently placed in front of a local fromager, immediately got my euros.
Soon as I turned a corner there was the whole fete don't you know.
Tent after tent offering Brie tastings, local honeys, rose nectars, Champagne. Plus a lunch menu at restaurant 'Maryland', every course soup-to-nuts embellished with Brie.
No less then the head of the brotherhood (le Confrerie des Chevaliers du Brie de Melun) was cutting slices himself, wearing a Brie-like wheel of a hat.
Bries from all the surrounding towns, Coulommiers, Meaux are on offer with subtle aromas of cream, butter, hazelnuts and made from raw cow's milk.
Cows always participate at the fete by the way. Glasses of their fresh milk are handed out on the spot.
Rose syrups from nearby Provins.
I was tempted again this year by the ready cooked chestnuts but 2 1/2 pounds is a lot of chestnuts for one person unless I have a chestnut party...
A different view of the Seine from a different bridge. Melun is in district Seine-et-Marne.
When I got home I remembered my Brie left out on the counter. Runny, almost soupy, perfection on a slice of pain de Brie. There is absolutely nothing like eating French food bought at it's site of origin. Nothing compares. More Brie pictures on Flickr.