- With their Le confined cheese, created last March April during confinement, a couple of dairy farmers from the Vosges had found a way to get around the crisis with a smile.
- Several months after the precious cheese was marketed and despite a second confinement, they continue to produce to meet strong demand.
Rumor had it that it was the result of chance or forgetfulness. The “inventors” of Le confined cheese, Laura and Lionel Vaxelaire, prefer to speak of a happy “trial”. Their cheese, created last March April in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, lives up to its name and still has a bright future ahead of it. And not just because we are… re-defined. Its name, which sounded obvious to the two dairy farmers, had entertained social networks and panicked the media, who had come in large numbers to the small valley of Moselotte (Vosges) to meet the refiners of this delicious cheese with a bloomy rind. Six months later, creators are struggling to meet a demand that does not weaken.
For the record, the dairy farmer couple in Saulxures-sur-Moselotte, owner of 25 cows 100% Vosges, had left at the beginning of the last confinement, about forty cheeses to rest in a corner of their ripening cellar. Under surveillance but without bringing him washing and turning. “The circumstances we made that we had the time and that we could do this test, at that time. There would have been no confinement, we would never have launched this cheese, ”smiles Laura Vaxelaire. “We were already making a cheese with a flowery, white rind, like Camembert, and our traditional Munster AOP. We wanted to start from the same white cheese, before it became Munster, and make a different refining. It’s a bit of a mix between the two. We isolated it in a corner of the cellar and that’s why we gave it its name. The ambiance of the cellar did the rest. Thus was born The Confined.
A little room for this cheese
After leaving them to rest for about a month, the Vaxelaire family “tasted” the cheese before offering it to their regular customers. “I made a little ad during the confinement on our Facebook page and it was from there that… Phew, the media were interested in it, Laura Vaxelaire remembers with amusement… A lot of people came there, We ordered some but we stayed on direct sales because we have small volumes. We keep our other productions and continue to honor their orders, those of our regulars. We just made room for this cheese. “
A few cheeses stored therefore and a master stroke even if the production remains modest for the couple, owners of 25 cows 100% Vosges. Because the Vaxelaire family annually transforms 90,000 liters of milk into munster AOP, fromage blanc, tommes des Vosges, “Coeur de massif”, and other small white cheeses… Products sold directly at their farm-inn Les Prenzières, at the small point of sale adjoining the farm or even in shops selling local products throughout the valley.
A beautiful story that almost collapsed, however, because the name The confined had already been filed by a person “who produced nothing”, sighs Laura Vaxelaire. “We had to find an arrangement, but today it’s done, we own the name. It’s up to us to keep this recipe, with this refining. “
But then, with the re-containment, no Le re-confined cheese in sight? “No, no, even if it’s not lacking in ideas. But our range is already quite extensive, ”laughs Laura Vaxelaire. So while waiting for better days, the couple take advantage of the lull to “replenish stocks” and be able to meet demand …