Cherry jam and Gruyère d’Alpage

Stay a few days for bed and breakfast with Eliane and Jacques Murith at the foot of Gruyères Castle. Take a stroll nearby, go for a trek in the Pre-Alps or rest in the cool of their Alpine chalet. The location is ideal and the welcome is personal.

Eliane is setting the breakfast table in the flower-filled garden of the Ferme du Bourgoz. The bed and breakfast she has run for the past sixteen years is full. The table is colourful with home-made jams – black cherry, apricot and almond, blackberry and blackcurrant. It’s a simple meal, with local produce. The flowers drawn on the pat of butter reflect her attention to detail. A last trace of cloud floats away above the Dent de Broc as the first holidaymakers arrive. They praise the natural setting, the convenience of public transport nearby and the decor of the bedrooms, both modern and authentic. A family from Boston have booked a visit to the Alpine chalet where Eliane’s husband and son make two rounds of Gruyère AOP each day.

Scott, Lindsay and their children, Molly and Logan, check out the steep path which will lead them to the chalet facing the Moléson. Half an hour’s walk brings them to the door of the “trintsâbyo”, the local name for a dairy with a boiler. The fire crackles as Jacques stirs the curd. His son Alexander cools his arms in spring water for a few moments before making the age-old movements of the cheesemaker. The first Gruyère AOP rises to the surface like a shoal of fish caught in a net. The children stand respectfully on the doorstep, not missing a moment. Lindsay is amazed by all the work still done by hand. Outside, the pigs are waiting impatiently for their whey. The cheeses are placed in the press. Later, Alexander will place them in a bath of brine while they wait to be taken to the plain in the cable car. Now it’s time for coffee with double cream, which Jacques and his daughter-in-law Charline willingly share with their visitors. “We eat double cream with a wooden spoon here” explains Jacques, pushing the tub towards his guests. The children are most enthusiastic about the home-made fruit syrup. “It’s the first time we have drunk this: we don’t get fruit syrup in the States!”
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