Marcaire meal & traditions

Marcaire de la Vallée de Munster

Marcaire / marcairie

Who are the marcaires?

The marcaires are farmers from the Vosges hills who raise dairy cattle for the production of Munster cheese Their name is based on the Alsatian word "malker" which comes from the German "melker", meaning someone who milks cows. More than 1000 years ago, they cleared the high altitude pastures known in French as the hautes chaumes to take their cattle there to graze.

Traditions

On the feast of St Urbain, on 25 May, the marcaires leave their village, to the sound of cattle bells, to make their way back to the high pastures. Munster cheese is produced in a marcairie (cheese factory) by the farmer, surrounded by his cowherds.
Today, these mountain pasture farms have been extended and have become farm-inns, where hikers can enjoy the legendary "marcaire meal".
You can still see traditional marcaire costumes being worn at village festivals or during the seasonal migration to summer pastures.

The marcaire meal

A special feature of the Vosges, most of the farm-inns in the upper Rhine area serve various specialities from the region. However, the traditional marcaire meal remains the most popular with walkers. It is comprised of farm produced products: soup, Munster valley pie, smoked meat accompanied by steamed potatoes (the "roïgabrageldi"), Munster cheese and a tart made with blueberries or seasonal fruit.

marcaire meal  roigabrageldi marcaire meal

Sources

Marcaire d’hier fermiers d’aujourd’hui (Malou Schneider, Gérard Lacoumette, Gérard Léser) Edition du Rhin, further info at: www.munsterfermier.com


Horaires d'ouverture de l'office de tourisme :

Novembre & décembre et de janvier à mars : 
Lundi à vendredi : 10h - 12h et 14h - 17h
Samedi : 10h - 12h et 14h - 16h

En avril, mai, juin, septembre et octobre : 9h30 - 12h30 et 14h - 18h
Samedi : 10h - 12h et 14h - 16h

En Juillet et août : 
Lundi à vendredi : 9h - 12h30 et 13h30 - 18h30
Samedi : 9h - 12h30 et 13h30 - 18h et dimanche 9h - 13h

Plan de situation :

Office de Tourisme de la Vallée de Munster 2019 - Mentions légales - Espace Pro