Cholera Swiss Specialty

When I look at the menu in a restaurant in Visp, in the Rhone Valley of the Valais, I am taken aback. It is the pandemic year 2020 and cholera is actually listed under the menu item Regional Specialty. This arouses curiosity, is ordered and extensively advertised by the service. Shortly before serving this culinary undemanding dish, I am perfectly in the picture. The dish originates from a time when cholera was raging in the country. At that time, cholera patients were not allowed to leave their homes. It sounds very familiar even today, after three years of the Corona pandemic. Deliveryando was not yet invented and so in the quarantine was mixed together what was still available in the house. Cheese, bread and with a little luck some vegetables. In terms of taste, a real Valais Raclette, this dish of epidemic origin always prefer. Especially because the restaurant version uses bland puff pastry. Nevertheless, a humorous and casual approach to a real plague of humanity. So it would be nice if we don’t read the word corona in too many headlines in the future, but at most where it never attracted unpleasant attention before the pandemic, in the drinks menu at the Mexican.

Cholera auf der Speisekarte macht in einem Jahr, in dem auf der Welt das Corona-Virus umgeht, neugierig. Es ist eine Notspeise aus Epidemie-Zeiten / © Foto: Georg Berg
Cholera on the menu makes people curious in a year when the Corona virus is going around the world. It is an emergency dish from epidemic times / © Photo: Georg Berg

Alpine happiness to cornichon

In Switzerland, however, there are also dishes that make do with little and yet represent pure Alpine happiness on the plate. In addition to the high quality of Swiss cheeses, the simple preparation with a manageable list of ingredients is one explanation for the popularity of Swiss raclette and cheese fondue. Raclette etiquette includes never waiting for everyone to eat at the same time. The rule is, one eats, the other talks. Because the cheese, which was just blistered and creamy-glistening from the cheese wheel, should be consumed as warm as possible.

Pures Alpglück an Cornichon: Der Raclettekäse aus dem Wallis ist cremig und würzig. Er wird aus Rohmilch von Kühen, die auf Bergweiden stehen, hergestellt / © Foto: Georg Berg
Pure alpine happiness to Cornichon: The raclette cheese from the Valais is creamy and spicy. It is made from raw milk from cows that stand on mountain pastures / © Photo: Georg Berg

Click here for a detailed report on a real Swiss cheese Raclette from Valais.

In einem Rutsch: So machen es die Profis heute und es ist auch das Lernziel beim Raclette-Praktikum in der Augstbordkäserei in Turtmann / © Foto: Georg Berg
In one go: This is how the professionals do it today and it is also the learning objective during the raclette internship at the Augstbord cheese dairy in Turtmann / © Photo: Georg Berg

Recipe Cheese Fondue Moité Moité

Rub the fondue pot with garlic and melt the Gruyère together with white wine and lemon juice while stirring constantly. Then add the second cheese and continue stirring. At the end reduce the heat, dissolve the corn flour in the brandy, stir it in and season everything with pepper and nutmeg. Cut a loaf of bread with a tasty crust into cubes.

For this fondue you need two cheeses half and half: 400 g Gruyère, 400 g Vacherin Fribourgeois, 1 half clove of garlic, 350 ml white wine, 4 tsp. cornstarch, 1 tsp. lemon juice, 1 glass of kirsch, pepper and nutmeg.

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