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Älplermagronen - Mountain Mac & Cheese

Älplermagronen, the favorite dish of the farmers: a kind of macaroni and potato gratin, cream, onions and Swiss Le Gruyère AOP. And, it's essential, accompanied by applesauce. A recipe from the canton of Fribourg.

The Canton of Fribourg

The canton of Fribourg: link between French-speaking Switzerland and German-speaking Switzerland

The first canton to join the Swiss Confederation in 1481, Fribourg is also the first French-speaking canton. French is now the language of around 63.2% of inhabitants, while German, the second official language, is spoken more predominantly in the East.

Fribourg, Medieval Beauty

The city of Fribourg offers beautiful medieval architecture from the 12th century. Churches, monuments and fountains dot the city, but it is undoubtedly the Cathedral of Saint Nicholas, with its 76-meter-high tower, that gets the most admiration. The defensive walls of Fribourg are also remarkable, they form the most important set of military architecture in Switzerland with walls 2 miles long and 14 towers.

The Fairytale Village of Gruyères

If it gave its name to the most famous Swiss cheese, the village of Gruyères is also an exceptionally well-preserved place. Its traditional Swiss architecture is visited every year by tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world. The Church of Saint Théodule, the castle which has 8 centuries of history and its museum dedicated to the history and the making of cheese are much visited.

Pleasant hikes in romantic landscapes

The canton offers peaceful and welcoming landscapes. Between the colors of its two lakes, that of Neuchâtel and that of Morat (places of prehistoric remains), and its Prealps (the highest point of which is the Vanil Noir at 7,800 feet) the visitor has many reasons to rejoice. He can enjoy a walk in the sublime Areuse gorges, which flows into Lake Neuchâtel. A wild and romantic suite of waterfalls, ravines and small lakes, these gorges offer a particularly popular site for hikers on foot or by mountain bike. They also cross another wonder of the canton, Creux-du-Van, a superb rocky circle, now a nature reserve where you can approach not very shy wild mountain goats.

 

Fribourg, a refined gastronomy

The canton of Fribourg is also the region of origin of the famous Fondue Moitié-Moitié. Half Vacherin Fribourgeois AOP and half Swiss Gruyère AOP, it is the emblem of Swiss gastronomy. It goes wonderfully with an Oeil de Perdrix, a delicious rosé whose vines have conquered the steep shores of Lake Neuchâtel. Finally, beyond its cheese-making tradition, Fribourg also honors many talented chocolate makers; so don't miss the chocolate train that leaves from Montreux and takes you to Broc, the town of Maison Cailler whose reputation is well established.

Älplermagronen or mountain "Macaroni & Cheese"

Literally macaroni from the Alps, Älplermagronen is an ancestral and typical dish, deliciously regressive since it combines macaroni and potatoes! A blend of macaroni, Swiss Gruyère AOP, onions and cream, this dish is said to be the distant ancestor of the famous North American "Macaroni & Cheese". To taste imperatively with an applesauce.

Recipe for Älplermagronen

Ingredients

  • 2 cups of potatoes
  • 1¼ cup of pasta (macaroni or penne)
  • 3/4 cup of heavy cream
  • 2 cups of vegetable broth
  • 2 onions
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 5 oz smoked bacon
  • 1/2 cup grated Le Gruyère AOP
  • Pepper

Preparation 

Peel the potatoes and cut them into small cubes.
Peel and mince the onions.
Peel and chop the garlic.
Bring the cream and broth to a boil.
Dip in the potatoes and pasta.
Cover and simmer, 10 to 15 minutes, until the liquid is completely absorbed.
In a pan, brown the garlic, onions and bacon.
Incorporate the grated cheese into the pasta-potato mixture.
Pepper.
Distribute the onions and bacon on top.
Serve with applesauce, it's absolutely delicious!

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