It's the first step in making Persille de Tignes, which according to local lore, was a favorite of the mighty 9th century emperor Charlemagne.
But the Marmottans are the last family making it, and while most French people may be content with the mass-produced cheeses of their globalizing world, the disappearance of traditional varieties is seen by some as threatening the very essence of Frenchness.
The Persille de Tignes is not alone on the list of endangered Fromages. Dozens have been lost since World War II, and experts say another dozen or more are considered at risk of extinction. No one has a precise count of how many cheese types France produces, but the country has long prided itself on having a different one for every day of the year.
Text & Images: AP
Image: This November 13, 2009 photo shows Persille de Tignes cheeses in La Savinaz, near Tignes in the French Alps. Legend has it that Persille de Tignes was among Charlemagne's favorite cheeses.