I have finally achieved a second visit to La Vieille Alliance. It seemed like a simple feat in itself to plan another rendezvous but everything has stopped me from reentering it's sweet embrace. I admit, I fell head over meals after only one slice of Christmas Eve baguette.
La Vieille Alliance has had it's hardships. Last June a fire ravaged through the shop, leaving little more than rubble in it's wake. The store was barely three years old at the time of the blaze, just establishing itself in a small town.
Five weeks ago, the signs came up, the lights turned on and the cobwebs were cleared from within an old, abandoned heritage house not two minutes from my loft. The Vieille Alliance rose from the ashes, a true Phoenix in a time of anguish, finding shelter where it may. A town without a bakery is a town without a an identity.
I snatched up a boite of fleur de sel before I perused the selection of mighty Quebec and French cheeses.
Pied de vent (top, left) is an expression for sun rays peeking from behind the clouds. Now a cheese bearing this description sounds magnificent but a whole fromagerie whereby the goods are processed seems dreamier and creamier. In fact, Pied-Du-Vent is an established fromagerie in the heart of Îles-de-la Madeleine where 47 French-Canadian cows, the Madelinot breed make their distinct mark on the dairy industry.
Étorki (bottom left) is a French sheep's milk cheese with a dense nutty bite. I sense a touch of olive, no?
Saint-Agur (bottom middle) a blue veined cheese from the Auvergne region of France has picky, rich notes.
From the fromagerie Ile-aux-Grues, Quebec, mi-carême is a raw milk cheese with a creamy taste similar to that of Brie.
But a bakery just was not enough and why stop at fine pastries, meats and cheeses when you could open a small restaurant, serving light lunch fare, mainly quiches, salads and soups. The proprietor, of Irish descent, is surprisingly fluent in both French and English (perhaps even Gaelic) and open to menu suggestions. I will be back time and time again with tales to tell. That is a promise!
Today one lone little lemon meringue tartlette made me coo and babble through the glass. My tongue began to tickle as I thought of the light meringue melting on my buds. This little baby was mine to bring home. Staying true to today's Hollywood ideals, until there's a bun in the oven I will just have to adopt.