Fribourg, Friends, and Fondue

In September 2013, John and I met our friends, Michelle and Jeff, and Michelle’s parents, Gabi and Pete, in Switzerland.

Berggasthaus

We covered a lot of ground together in three short days.


One afternoon, we drove to Fribourg.

Switzerland

Fribourg is the capital of the Swiss canton of Fribourg and the district of Sarine. It is about a 2 hour drive from Zurich.

Switzerland

Fribourg is a special place for our friends.

Switzerland

Michelle visited every summer for as long as she can remember and even lived there her freshman year of high school:

Fribourg

And Gabi and Pete were married there in 1973.

Switzerland

But their special connection to Fribourg goes even further back and deeper than that.

Michelle’s mother, Gabi, grew up there — from elementary school to college.

Her father (Michelle’s grandfather) opened Essig Frères with his brother in 1945.

Fribourg

Fribourg

They sold fish, seafood, and specialty foods like snails, foie gras, caviar, turtle soup, etc.

Fribourg

Next to their store’s location is Café du Midi:

Switzerland

Café du Midi has been doing fondue since 1877 and our friends have been enjoying their fondue for many, many years.

Switzerland

That’s why one of the highlights of our trip was going to Fribourg for a special fondue lunch with them.

We started with a local wine:

Switzerland

And Bündnerfleisch, air-dried beef:

Switzerland

Bündnerfleisch originates in the canton of Graubünden, where they speak mainly German. In Fribourg, where they speak more French than German, this meat is called “Viande des Grisons”.

It is delicious!

And then, the guest of honor arrived:

Switzerland

Fondue Vacherin!

Gabi added a little pepper:

Switzerland

Gave it a proper stir:

Switzerland

And then we were all free to dig-in!

Switzerland

Fondue Vacherin is different from most fondues because the cheese is from Fribourg and it’s heated at a low temperature.

Switzerland

That means you don’t have to wait for it to cool before eating it.

Switzerland

Or in my case, that means you don’t burn your mouth when eating it hot right out of the pot.

Switzerland

You just stir, twirl, and eat.

Switzerland

Stir, twirl, and eat.

Fribourg

Just make sure you don’t lose your chunk of bread in the cheese:

Fribourg

Or you’ll be buying the next bottle of wine!

What an amazing afternoon filled with perpetual laughter, fascinating stories, and loving friends.

Fondue

And of course, Fondue Vacherin!

Switzerland

Someone recently asked me why we went all the way to Switzerland to see Michelle, Jeff, Gabi, and Pete when they all live right here in the States.

Switzerland

I said, “We went to have fondue.”

And that’s the truth.

________________________________________________________________________________________________

Be sure to read about our lunch at Berggasthaus Aescher-Wildkirchli and the hike we took to get there.

Berggasthaus

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *