At the end of August, Carla, my parents, and I had the pleasuring of spending several days with my father's extended family in the North of France. This was on the eastern side of France, in the town of Arras, which is in the political departements of Pas-de-Calais and Nord. Although the western side of France's northern shores (Normandy and Brittany) get more fancy post cards, I found Arras to be incredibly charming and beautiful, with flat, but lush, countryside, impressive churches, and great food.
Sadly, the cheeses of the North are given a short shrift, especially by the famous Steven Jenkins in his book, The Cheese Primer. Although a great resource of information, The Cheese Primer is unbalanced with Jenkins' unmovable personal preferences for some cheeses over others. So while he waxes poetic over Roquefort and Comte, he writes off the North as producing cheesese that "are rather coarse and unrefined," from a region that "boasts little gastronomic import or export." He then has a brief mention of Mariolles, Dauphin, and Mimolette, then moves on to the next chapter on the Champagne and Ile-de-France regions.