While we have been travelling we have tried to taste the food specialities specific to different areas we have visited. On our minimal budget and decent cooking abilities (if I may say so myself) this has often swayed us from forking out on a meal which may disappoint. However- Sometimes you gotta do it! Try that bizare concoction of flavours.
This we did- on Dans 23rd birthday.
We popped into the only cafe open in Mende , the closest town with a supermarket, with a population of 12,000. Even here, there’s not much happening… Rarely you’ll see a crowd and more often than not most cafés and shops will be closed! Anyway, this suited us fine and we ordered the set meal of SAUCISSE ALIGOT, which I’m told, is the local speciality.
On further research on the origins of this dish, it said online that the dish is from the L’Aburac region in the southern Massif region of Central France , this includes Cantal, Lozere, Aveyron & Midi-Pyrènèes. (We are in the Lozere region.)
Traditonally aligot is made with Tomme de Laguiole. A Cheese from the Aubrac platau in the Aveyron region, Southern France. It is said to have been invented by a monastery within the Auberac platau in the 19th century, and passed down to the monks who then passed it on to local farmers.
The cheese has a 45% fat content, has a pressed, uncooked paste made from raw, unpasteurised Aubrac or French Simmental cows milk collected between May and October above 800m altitude.
Today, there is only one producer certified to make this cheese, Jeunne Montagne. They make it only in three departments, Cantal, Aveyron & Lozere. (Perhaps if I’d known, as I was eating my Aligot that I was lucky enough to get the opportunity to try this unique cheese, I would have enjoyed it more! )
But Aligot is not JUST cheese (as I was about to find out!) it is mashed potatoes, cream, butter, garlic & cheese all whizzed together to create a gluelike consistency.
It was presented to us alongside two large white sausages. Mmmmm.
On my first mouthful I couldn’t help but struggle with the the consistency which I imagined was similar to snot… You scoop it in and unlike mashed potato which you eat as a solid, this slides down, gloopy and sticky with a cheesey garlic flavour.
The flavour was nice- once you got over this bizare consistency.
The sausages were delisicous, I’ve always been a fan of white sausages, and eaten with the Aligot it was a pleasant meal. (That link is a recipe done with a Lancashire cheese)
One I’m glad I tried- but will not buy again!