• Churning butter at Beillevaire

Beillevaire is a family company that has 250 employees and has two sides to its business.  It produces its own products (butter, yoghurt, fromage blanc, milk-based desserts, cheeses) and  is also a fromager affineur (it buys in young cheeses from all over France and other countries and then matures them in its own cellars). We were both surprised and delighted to see how ‘artisanal’ they have managed to keep production during a recent visit to the production site in Machecoul near Nantes.  Butter is made using wooden moulds and is hand wrapped, compotes are dropped into glass yoghurt pots before being topped up and fromage blanc is drained in large muslins before being packed and weighed by hand.  A delight to see – we came away with much more respect for the company (from whom we buy all our cheese).

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Using wooden moulds for the butter

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Beating the fromage blanc

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Packing up the butter

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Making fromage blanc

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One of their own cheeses – Machecoulais

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Rows of Machecoulais draining