Stage 4: Nice > Nice

It’s Team Time Trial day. Whose skinsuit will reign supreme? Which team will drop riders and which will demonstrate that they’ve been practicing their paceline? Will any GC dreams be shattered and will any dark horse candidates emerge? A swift 25km will reveal all.

Nice, and the greater Côte d’Azur, is not renowned for it’s beef or dairy. “What’s new?”, I hear you cry, “neither was Corsica!”. Ah, but at least in Corsica we had 10,000 or so cattle roaming the island looking for photo ops and al fresco diners to upset. Not so much in Nice. I have found something, though. You’ll have to bear with me… it’s a little eccentric and – yes – a circuitous route to a nice Nice cow link. First, to Dorset.

Yes, Dorset.

Apparently a Dorset cheese, Barber’s 1833 Cheddar, won last year’s World Cheese Awards Cheddar Trophy. Why is this important? Because the whey separated from these curds is used to make a beer, which is then distilled into vodka. That’s right, a vodka made from milk, and called Black Cow.

And yes, we are still a long way from Nice.

So is Lynette Fisher who runs Le Vieux Four, a Patisserie in Beaminster. Nice was where she started baking and France is what gives her inspiration. She has adapted a recipe for Far aux Pruneaux – a pudding that usually has prunes soaked in rum – substituting the local milk vodka for the rum.

I’m clutching at straws, but am happy to raise a glass of vodka and eat a French cake in the absence of local cattle.

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