And we’re done! Today marks our last day of class and our last day in our beloved town of Cluny. It has been a fantastic two weeks here, and I’ve undoubtedly learned so much more than just the microbiology of wine and cheese. As a final tribute to our wonderful host city, I’ll close out my stay in France with some fun facts about Cluny 🙂
1. Historically, Cluny used to be a monastery, as in an abbey for monks. During the Middle Ages, the Cluny Abbey was the largest Christian church in the world (St. Peter’s in Rome is only bigger by 1 meter). Most of it is torn down now, but just the size of what’s left gives you a sense of how gigantic it was.
2. Cluny, and the area surrounding it, specializes in goat cheese! This is mostly because the cows here are mainly raised for meat, not dairy.
3. Wines from this region of France (Burgundy) are almost always either made from pinot noir (red) or chardonnay (white) grapes. Though they can be made in countless different ways based on the terroir (the geographical, ecological, and anthropological factors unique to each plot of vines), they can only be called Burgundy wines if they are indeed made in Burgundy.
4. In France, and especially small towns like Cluny, people tend to take their time when eating out. Food is such an important part of the social aspect of life that most shops often close for 2 hours during lunch time so that their employees can enjoy a nice, relaxing lunch break. People are never in a rush to finish eating and will often stay and talk afterwards. So you might need to wait a bit for the check 🙂
5. The Cluny Market! Every Saturday, farmers and artists and shop-owners from all over will come to the main square in Cluny to sell their products. The city really comes alive when the quiet square is transformed into a lively market. It’s one of my favorite parts of Cluny 🙂
I’ve had the most amazing time here in Cluny and I really do hope to come back and visit sometime 🙂