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Lausanne

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A small escapade in the winter sun of Lausanne to make you discover some of the gastronomic wonders that this city and its region have. I will introduce you to some Swiss chocolates such as the Bouchons Vaudois, the Giscards, the “Blondel” chocolates… But also absolutely divine specialties like “Malakoffs”, “Röstis”, “Fondue Suisse” and other devilish little things!

My first instinct is to rush to a restaurant that serves the famous “Entrecôte Café de Paris”! This butter comes from Geneva, but it is really worth the trip!
Meet at the Café de Paris, 5, place Saint François.


What is it exactly? It’s a rare rib steak in a butter bath with herbs and spices (the composition of which is a secret!). 


The whole is served in a dish that is placed on a stove, the butter will then melt slowly and the meat will continue to cook in this wonder.

The pieces of meat are then removed when the cooking is satisfactory and to lighten the whole, the entrecote is served with “home-made” fries. All this mixture, washed down with a good red wine from the region, plunges us directly into the atmosphere that awaits us!


A little digestive walk along Lake Geneva is a must. 


One finds oneself on foot towards Ouchy and that falls well because I must direct myself towards the chocolate shop which sells the “Pavés de Lausanne”. 


The weather is so sumptuous, that it is almost hard to imagine that we are in the middle of winter when looking at the pictures. The leaves of the trees are absent and the negative temperature were there to confirm my doubts! 



This freezing weather takes away my guilt to enjoy a warm ovaltine. I think everyone knows this Swiss chocolate powder!


In Ouchy, there is a chocolate shop where you can get Pavés de Lausanne.

These are cubes of butter ganache with almonds or hazelnuts coated with milk or dark chocolate. 


You can also find   nice Swiss chocolate knives. 

And especially the “Bouchons Vaudois”. 

It is a kind of wafer with hazelnuts…


Filled with chocolate hazelnut cream. 


But the store I never fail to go to is Blondel, downtown.


This wonderful store opened in 1850 with a creaky floor and has not yielded to a modern and “flashy” renovation.


It keeps all its cachet and its old-fashioned atmosphere. 


But we come to Blondel’s especially for its hammer chocolates, each one more delicious than the other. Between dark, milk and white chocolates, there are 48 varieties such as chocolate with burnt caramel, caramelized almonds, poppy, pistachios, flaky praline, crunchy coffee , basil, ginger, cayenne pepper, honey, lemon, chili pepper etc…


The hammer chocolates are of course sold by weight and every time I go there, my credit card goes up!


My favorites? The black with burnt caramel… 


Or the milk with flaky praline and the one with caramelized almonds, although I can’t get enough of the black one with pistachios! 

The laboratory of Blondel’s where all these crazy things are made for our greatest pleasure.
But you can also find truffles, each one more tempting than the other.


What more can I say? I think the pictures speak for themselves!


So head to Blondel at 5, rue du Bourg in Lausanne! You can also buy them by mail order on their website  http://chocolatsblondel.ch/


Next, we head for the Wuthrich chocolate factory.


The owner, Egon Kopp and his wife received me very warmly in their store at 11, avenue Juste-Olivier.


This store has an incredible specialty, the “Giscards”! 

The Giscards were once called Rigolettos. But the former French president was so fond of this delicacy that the confectioner, who sent him a box every Christmas, renamed them after their famous fan!  



The “giscard” is a small chocolate (dark or milky) filled with a liquid caramel and topped with a small crunchy almond caramel. But the store has many other specialties.


Like the “Stephanie”, a chocolate ganache sandwiched between two chocolate shortbread melts with a chocolate glaze on top.


You can find the “Stephanie” in a “mini” version…


But don’t leave without tasting the almond tuiles, so thin and so crispy! 


A little trip to the “Coop” supermarket with my dear friend Nadine, thanks to whom I was able to discover or rediscover all these wonders. Here she presents us with a local toblerone of rather modest size. There are some truly giant ones! But you can find them in every airport in the world today.


The famous “ragusas” filled with gianduja (which is Italian from the Piedmont, I remind you!) with whole hazelnuts, another sin that is hard to resist!


And a whole range of Swiss chocolates like Lindt and especially the lesser known Cailler.


But also pots of dough with pieces of ovomaltine. 


And one of my favorite industrial chocolates, the frigor! Lindt makes a very close one which is the Lindor.


In the evening, twenty minutes away by car, we meet in a charming country restaurant, still on the shores of Lake Geneva: “l’Auberge de l’Union” in Bursins. Mr. Jean Claude Daglia even welcomes me in his kitchen to show me the making of the house specialty, the famous “malakoffs”. 
An expert touch and here is a circle of bread perfectly filled with a dome of cheese dough (Gruyère of course!!).


The recipe is of course a secret but count on me to unravel its mysteries!


This may seem heavy at first glance, as the malakoffs are deep fried. 


The cheese dome then swells and forms an incredible crust.


Served with a salad (whose seasoning is to die for!) and accompanied by a glass of Lavaux wine, the malakoff is best enjoyed hot.


You have to feel this crust and devour with your eyes its perfect and appetizing roundness.


Finally, the knife breaks the harmony to reveal a rich and creamy interior. The whole thing is so delicate that you forget about the frying and the malakoff disappears in a few bites.


But the restaurant also offers entrecote with morels.


I think this speaks for itself!

But we must not forget the traditional Swiss fondue “half and half”! Gruyère and Vacherin Fribourgeois work together to make us drool with envy! Some pieces of bread and hop we plunge them…

The hostess showed me the restaurant’s cellar which contains an impressive collection of bottles. 


They even produce their own bottles.


And they also offer exceptional bottles on the menu.


The stroll continues in Lausanne.


It’s time to burn off the calories you’ve eaten without any complexes.


It is necessary to go to the Cathedral of Lausanne, up on the hill.

But as if by chance, I found myself catapulted to the other end of town in front of a delicious cheese shop, “La Fermière” at 19, rue Saint Laurent. 

What for? To buy Swiss cheese of course! Because you can’t come here without talking about cheese at some point   or another! 


The Vacherin Mont d’Or is indeed a Swiss cheese!


But there are also Appenzeller, Vacherin Fribourgeois, Gruyère (which has no hole!), Tomme Vaudoise, Raclette du Valais, Tilsiter etc…


But Lausanne produces wines that are often unknown in the world, although they are quite incredible. 


Direction Lavaux by a beautiful end of day in the towns of Lutry, Saint-Saphorin and Villette.
It produces wonderful grape varieties such as Vevey-Montreux, Lutry, Villette, Épesses, Calamin Grand Cru, Saint-Saphorin, Chardonne le Vevey-Montreux, Dézaley Grand Cru…



The charm of these vineyards is of course due to their geographical location. They fall directly on Lake Geneva with a breathtaking view of the Alps.
And the sunset takes a magical turn here. 


For our last expedition culinary of this trip, we go this time to theAuberge de Dully.



This restaurant is always crowded (reservations are almost compulsory!) and offers several specialties, but we come here especially to devour the chickens grilled over an open fire…


A perfectly cooked chicken that perfumes the whole restaurant and is bathed in juice…


But here we eat the chicken with the “röstis” which are served at will!


Hard to resist…


For dessert, a tarte flambée with cream. A thin (but really thin!!) pastry with on top, a mixture of double cream of gruyere (but it’s not cheese anymore, just a very thick 50% cream) and sugar. The whole thing caramelizes slightly and gives an inimitable taste and texture. 


Of course I went backstage to observe the incredible ballet of cooks who are busy on the pans where the röstis are browning. I even did a little industrial espionage (just kidding, they gave me a few things!) and so I discovered a few secrets that I’ll be sure to share with you. 


The famous tarte flambée in the oven, swelling and crackling… 


All the recipes I discovered during this trip motivate me and will lead me to publish them here! So be patient, but Malakoffs, Röstis, Tartes Flambées, Swiss Fondue and Beurre Café de Paris will soon have no secrets for us! 


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