Back on June 20, CHM and I drove over to Montrichard for the Friday morning farmers' market there. We wanted to buy some tarragon plants for our garden in Saint-Aignan and for CHM's garden in Paris.
We could have waited to go the the Saturday market in Saint-Aignan, but Walt had gone there the previous Saturday and hadn't found any tarragon (aka estragon in French). In Montrichard we succeeded, but the plants were kind of pricy at six euros apiece.
Set up right next to the plant lady was the woman who runs the ferme-auberge La Lionnière in our village. A "farm-inn" is a working farm which also operates a B&B and a restaurant. Our neighbors the Boulands do all that and also sell their very good goat cheeses in the local markets.
You have to try the Loire Valley goat cheeses (fromages de chèvre, or just chèvres) to believe them. They are pure and white under a wrinkly and sometimes ash-covered crust. You eat the crust along with the cheese, for the flavor. You can buy goat cheeses that are young, fresh, and spreadable; others that have been aged to a semi-hard (demi-sec) stage; and still others, more pungent, that are completely dry (sec), hard and crumbly.
Goat cheeses come in many shapes — logs in the Sainte-Maure de Touraine style, flat disks in the Selles-sur-Cher style, truncated pyramids in the Valençay style, and even little heart shapes in the Neufchâtel-en-Bray style. They are good eaten as they are, along with a glass of red, white, or rosé wine, or with a beer, and some good bread.
They are also good on toast, run under the broiler and slightly melted, served on top of a pile of salad greens, tomatoes, and other salad ingredients. The salade de chèvre chaud is a standard menu item all over France now.
P.S. My new hard disk is all installed and nearly everything is running again. Changing your operating system and all you files over from one disk to another is always an adventure. It took me more than 10 hours to get it all runing, and that included a trip to the local computer store for a cable I needed. I now have that famous terabyte of disk space — 1000 GB — on my computer, to hold all my photos.