A Culinary Alpine Hike
This past long weekend, we spent in Pont de Nant, Switzerland which is a lovely and rather remote spot in the Swiss Alps. The idea was to surprise my mother-in-law who was expecting a quiet weekend in the mountains. In the end there were about 25 of us all celebrating in the gorgeous, fresh mountain air. We went for a hike on Saturday that made me think of how well one would be able to survive if they had to live off the land here. First off, if you have temperate, rainy weather (it rained a lot this past weekend) you have big, big snails (that's escargot, folks!) left, right and center. Evidently, to make them edible, you must catch them and soak them in different changes of fresh water for at least a day to get all the sand out. Then they're great right out of the oven with garlic, parsley and butter.
Then with the gentiane flower (well, actually the root) you can make the famous Gentiane liquor. What you see here is a small gentiane flower, but the one you can make booze from is the "gentiana lutea" the large gentaine flower, another type from the species. I actually have no idea how one makes liquor out of it but it's available all over the Vaud region of Switzerland and probably elsewhere as well.
Finally in the late spring and throughout the summer there are berries everywhere. Here you see a wild strawberry flower that will become a strawberry within a month. After the strawberries, in July and August, there are wild raspberries to pick.
Not too shabby!