Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Europe in many dishes 33: France-Comte specialities

We have just spent a lovely time in Besancon, the very charming capital of the ancient province of Franche-Comte in the north east of France, very close to Switzerland. It is a region of hills, mountains, green meadows, and woods--of cows and pigs, excellent cheeses, sausage--and of good wine and liqueurs, as well as chocolates and caramels. Absinthe was first developed here, as was 'pastis' though it's not called that here. as well, it is well known for its delicious fruit lemonades, made according to traditional recipes, and syrups made from unusual things such as pine resin!
Typical dishes are often based on cheese, especially the famous 'Comte' cheese which is available in different ages of maturity--from 6 months right through to 24 months and even up to 40 months. With the Swiss influence close by, there's fondues and potato dishes with melted cheese called 'caincallotte' on top--a real rib-sticker!
Fantastic too the traditional 'saucisse de Morteau' , a smoked sausage which features in many a dish!

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