This is a small village into the Swiss Alps, that really look like a postcard! Perched on a rock at 800m high, you have a beautiful view on the Intyamon Valley, a lake and the Moléson mountains (there is a ski station on the next side of the mountain).
There is also a village of the same name in the north-east of France (Ardennes), but they have nothing in common. We already paid it a visit, in 2009, as you cans see in this old post ! So I tried to not take the same pictures twice!
This time, we headed to Gruyères to visit some friends, and have a lovely barbecue session, full of Swiss specialties! A view from the garden...
Cyrille, j'ai pris ta fleur en photo! Et votre chat, aussi...
We already visited Gruyères like 5 years ago, when this blog was just at his premises: what is reassuring is that I see some progress in my pictures :) This village is really a mix between tradition (the architecture, and the ancestral way to produce cheese of the same name “Gruyères”) and modernity (the castle has bought some Heroïc fantasy paintings, and one of the house of the village has been transformed into a beautiful museum fully dedicated to H.R. Giger). I just love this contrast!
And a statue from Giger in front of the museum:
The region also has a few interesting specialties: the Gruyères, a delicious cheese closed to the French Abondance or Comté (two other brick cheese, made out of cooked milk), some meringues, served with a double cream, typical from Gruyères (it is a cream not pasterised, so short term conservation, but which is thick and smooth, without any acidity), and a sweet Mustard, called “Moutarde de Bénichon”, served with a saffron broche.
This last speciality is a part of a traditionnal menu, served for a local celebration called La Bénichon, which happens at the end of September in the Freiburg district (I also exists under a different name in the Valay district): it celebrates the “Désalpes”, which means the come back of the herds and flocks from the Alpine pastures where they spent summer. It is an amazing tradition, which is still alive. People dressed up the cows with flowers hats, and put the most beautiful cow bell, with embroidered and engraved necklaces; shepherds are in traditional costumes too. And you eat all day long! Some lovely pictures can be found on this website:
You can see the different event organized on this website:
Different dates and different name depending from the Village, but the Bénichon is typical from Freiburg (Switzerland). We will try to attend this year!
Anyway, anyhow, the mustard is made out of mustard flour and candy sugar: it is really sweet and sour, but it matches perfectly the saffron brioche, which is called La Cuchaule. We ate all the Cuchaule we bought there, but I tried to re-do it at home (we had a full pot of Bénichon that has to disappear!). Even if it srprised me, it seems that it is made out of a particular variety of saffron that grows in alpin pastures. So, this is really local.
* As you can see, I definitely have a problem: I started making an article about a village, and I end up spending half of it speaking about food! *
Anyway, here are a few clichés from the village, with a beautiful view on the mountains.
Une photo à la Cyrille ;)
The inside court of the Casttle:
And a beautiful and permanent exhibition from the fantasy artist Patrick Woodroffe:
It takes place into a tower: nice disposition, hu?