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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Kade

What do you do on a cold rainy day? Go to Gruyères for raclette!

It is a very cold, rainy, dreary, damp, stay under the covers in bed and read a book kind of day in Unterseen; so we decided to hop on the train and go to Gruyères for raclette. It is supposed to rain quite hard in the Berner Oberland, but the weather forecast said the rain will stop from 10 AM until 4 PM in Gruyères. We will see.

When Michael and I went to breakfast we were the only ones at the breakfast room. We were able to chat some with Joli and Helena.

Received an email asking what our breakfast consisted of. Croissants, rolls, and bread are baked fresh every morning. The rich creamy Emi butter from the Emmental region melts quickly on the warm rolls and bread. There is also bread for toast. There is a nice selection of cheeses, jams, jellies, honey, Nutella, meats, fruits, yoghurts, cereals, nuts, and dried fruits. There are boiled eggs and cut up tomatoes and cucumbers if you want to add to your sandwich. For drinks there is water, orange juice, coffee, tea, milk, and hot chocolate. I'm sure I missed other things.

I usually like to look out the train windows and admire the scenery but I thought I would start the day's writing instead.

We took the train from Interlaken West to Bern with quick stops in Spiez and Thun. The trip took 50 minutes. Had a 13 minute wait in Bern. Changed trains in Bern to one that is going to Bulle.

The trip from Bern to Bulle took one hour and two minutes. We had stops in Fribourg and Romont. Romont is the town that has signs that say: watch out for tanks. This is a military training town so yes; there is a possibility to see tanks roll through town. We have seen the tanks on numerous occasions.

Michael likes to pass the time on the train by reading while I like to look out the window or start writing my blog.

We passed the Nespresso factory in Romont. Nespresso was created in 1986. There is another plant in Avenches and a third one in Orbe. Every single Nespresso capsule sold in the world is carefully produced at one of the three factories based in Switzerland. All research and development activities are carried out by Swiss experts. The Nespresso team of more than 1300 production experts carefully transforms the highest quality sustainable coffee beans into the capsules that are exported to 62 countries worldwide.

Nespresso licenses the technology to Delonghi and Breville, leading to different designs for each brand. However, the functionality is the same.

Decided to take a detour in Bulle and go to Maison Cailler to buy hot chocolate and baking chocolate. We will go back to Cailler and purchase the chocolate bars just before we return to Arizona. You still have time to let me know your preference of chocolate bars.

Since the last time we were in Broc Fabrique, a new station was constructed with two platforms. At certain times of the day, the train goes from Bern to Broc Fabrique. A dedication of the station took place this past Saturday. The floral decorations were still hanging on the posts. The Swiss love their flowers.

Yes, these are real flowers. The roses were so fragrant!

La Maison de Cailler in Broc Fabrique was our first stop. We did pick up some baking chocolate and hot chocolate mix. I also bought some "branch chocolates" for the girls at our vet's. Izzy and Jellie Beanie are being boarded there.

What would you like to try or perhaps purchase? Put some pralines in a pretty tin container.

Dark or milk chocolate bears? White chocolate pony? Soccer player?

Mug for your hot chocolate? How about a chocolate fondue pot.

Cailler and Kambly have partnered together. Love the products from both companies.

Baking chocolate and hot chocolate.

Baking chocolate bars

Different assortments of pralines and branches.

Now that is a wall of chocolate bars! Bars come in 100, 200, or 400 grams. White? Dark? Milk? Nuts? No nuts? What kind of nut? Specialty bar?

Children's and adult T-shirts are for sale.

Wallets and pencil cases. So very soft!!

I bought the cow with the spoon last year.

And...... you thought pencil cases only came in plastic.

Michael and I have taken classes there in past years, but nothing interested me this year. I wish they would do another baking class. Maybe next year.

Pralines will be made in this class. I'm still not an expert at tempering the chocolate.

We have had Antonio as an instructor for the baking class we took a couple years ago. He even has two assistants today. Everyone has their own station to work at.

You get to keep your apron, too.

Some chocolate creations on display.

Gruyères, town of the counts of Gruyères in bygone days, is a medieval town in the Fribourg canton of Switzerland. It's known for production of the cheese of the same name. The 13th-century Château de Gruyères is a hilltop fortress with a multimedia history show and ornate rooms. Inside the small St. Germain Castle, the H.R. Giger Museum shows artwork relating to the film “Alien.” The Tibet Museum displays Buddhist sculptures and ritual objects of the Himalayas. Gruyères is the cheese capital of Switzerland, and it is because of Gruyère cheese that Switzerland is known as the cheese capital of the world. It's used in many of the classic Swiss dishes like raclette and fondue, so, if you're a cheese fan, you simply have to visit Gruyères.

The picturesque town of Gruyères lies at the foot of the Pre-Alps. The cobblestones and its fountain offer an invitation for a gentle stroll. The medieval town gave its name to the region of La Gruyère and its tasty cheese, the Gruyère AOP.

A town of culture, four museums are available to visit: the Castle of Gruyères, which dominates the town, the museum and bar of the artist H.R. Giger, which presents the fantastic works of the creator of Alien, the Tibet Museum, and La Maison du Gruyère, which is a showcase dairy where you can see how the cheese is made. There is even a restaurant and a shop to purchase cheese and souvenirs.

Milk is delivered fresh twice a day. Morning milk contains more fat than afternoon milk.

A city of culinary delights, with many traditional and cozy restaurants serving the legendary specialties of the region: fondues, röstis, soup de chalet, macaroni d’alpage or the Bénichon menu. Gruyères that has been preserved over the years, part of the network of the most beautiful villages in Switzerland. In 2021, Gruyères was awarded the title of “Best Tourism Village."

The small picturesque town of Gruyères (also known as Greyerz in German) appears to have emerged straight out of the Middle Ages.

The Castle of Gruyères is a must-see! Built in the 13th century, the former residence of the Counts takes you on a journey through eight centuries of art and history, with some superb temporary exhibitions. From its medieval ramparts to the romantic lounges, let yourself be carried away on a journey through time.

When visitors have tired of looking at the panorama of the Alpine foothills from the Castle terrace, they can stroll through the traffic-free streets of the small town. New photo opportunities present themselves at every step. The Museum and Bar of H.R. Giger, who won an Oscar for designing the xenomorphs in the film Alien, offers a completely different kind of cultural experience, as does the Tibet Museum.

The Fondue Academy gives visitors the opportunity to gain an insight into the art of fondue preparation by master cheesemakers. Nutritious indulgence with friends is guaranteed! Chocolate fans can reserve a place in a workshop at the Chocolaterie de Gruyères or learn about the history of this world-renowned confectionery during breakfast.

According to legend, Gruyères was founded in 400 B.C. by the Vandal King Gruerius. He saw a crane (“grue” in French) flying across the crimson evening sky and decided to build his town on that very spot. This is why the coat of arms of Gruyères depicts a crane on a red background. The symbol of the heraldic animal of the former Count of Gruyères has a significant presence throughout the region up to the present day.

Gruyère cream (French: Crème de Gruyère) is a double cream produced in the canton of Fribourg. It is named after the region of Gruyères, from which it originates. In Switzerland, double cream must contain at least 45 percent fat. Gruyère cream contains about 50 percent, which gives it its thickness and smoothness. Michael and I always enjoy raclette at the Hôtel de Ville in Gruyères. When we walked in one of the waitresses immediately recognized us. She said, "So you are back here again for raclette!" Michael asked her if she had been back to Portugal. She told us she had been back there in the Spring. I recognized her but I still don't remember her name.

Our waitress was nice enough to bring bowls of water for the two dogs.

We had a huge slab of the cheese placed under the burner. You heat the cheese until it becomes nice and bubbly and starts to brown on top. Then, you scrape it off onto the potatoes, bread, gherkins, or pickled onions. Our waitress asked us if we wanted seconds on the cheese, but we said no as Michael wanted the fresh raspberries with double cream. Raclette is one of our favorite Swiss dishes!

I put sliced gherkins on top of the bread. Ground pepper on top is a must!

A bottle of Vulley goes so well with the cheese.

Cheers to a delicious meal!!!!!!!!!

Gruyère cream (French: Crème de Gruyère) is a double cream produced in the canton of Fribourg. It is named after the region of Gruyères , from which it originates. In Switzerland, double cream must contain at least 45 percent fat. Gruyère cream contains about 50 percent, which gives it its thickness and smoothness.

Gruyère cheese is notably produced in the same region since the 13th century. Cream production, however, is reputed since the 19th century only. Joseph Favre in particular, a cook from Valais, praised Gruyère cream as one of the finest in Europe, owing its great quality to that of the Alpine pastures. In the early 20th century, Armaillis who went down to the village for mass, brought with them Gruyère cheese and Gruyère cream as an offering for the priest. Nowadays, in the canton of Fribourg, Gruyère cream is considered the quintessential cream and found in all dairies. When a person enters a dairy to ask for cream, he is spontaneously served double cream, without having to specify.

Gruyère cream is traditionally served in a wooden tub, with a carved wooden spoon. It is often served along with meringues for dessert. Gruyère cream is also served with fritters, bricelets, aniseed bread, croquets and cuquettes. Gruyère cream is listed in the Culinary Heritage of Switzerland.

Michael was delighted they had freshly picked raspberries today.

Yes, double cream is so thick that a spoon can stand straight up.

Double cream should be served in a wooden bowl.

What Is Double Cream? Double cream is a thick rich decadent dairy product made by separating out the creamy fat component of milk. It contains around 50% fat. Compared with whipping or pouring cream which is typically 35% fat. Double cream is thick enough to dollop on desserts or cakes. It can also be whipped for an even thicker treat.

Double cream isn’t readily available in the US but can be found in the UK, Ireland and Australia.

What's The Difference Between Whipping Cream And Double Cream? Double cream is whipping cream which has less of the watery component remaining. Meaning double cream contains more fat (typically around 48% or higher) whereas whipping cream only contains around 35% fat.

I did a little window shopping in Gruyères.

With the amount of humidity here, my hair looks a little like this.

I bought some chair pillow covers. I also wanted 4 more of one I had bought last year. Monika didn't have any more in the design I wanted, so she will order some for me and let me know when they arrive. We got to talking and I learned she was born in Poland close by Gdańsk. I had to laugh because Michael said "thank you" to her in Polish.

Now, that is quite a door knocker! Notice how the moon is part of the sun.

The dogs sat quietly and watched all the people pass by. The gentleman's partner must be in the shop a little too long. He doesn't look all that happy.

We were going to go back home through Montbovon and the mountains, but we didn't have enough time to switch because the train we were supposed to take from Gruyères was 4 minutes late and we only had a 3 minute layover in Montbovon.

So we took the train from Gruyères to Bulle. Switched to a train to Fribourg. In Fribourg, we switched to the train going to Bern. Then from Bern we went back to Interlaken West.

Even with all the train switches, we arrived in Interlaken 20 minutes earlier than if we caught the train to Montbovon.

The new overhead train signs are very nice and easy to read. The train at this station leaves at 16:04. It is an IC 1(intercity train starting from the Geneva Airport and terminating at St. Gallen). St. Gallen is the final destination. There are stops in Bern, Zürich main station, Zürich airport, and Winterthur. You can tell which cars are either first or second class. The fork and knife indicate there is a restaurant at the fourth car.

The newer trains have a journey map. At the bottom is the final destination and the time the train will arrive there. The next stop is Bern and it shows the arrival time. You see you are in car 12, the local time, the speed of the train, and exactly where the train is.

Many school groups are on the trains today. Sometimes, you see some groups with suitcases. I always wonder where they are going.

Lots of crops ready to be harvested between Bern and Thun. There are red and green lettuce, leeks, carrots, cabbage, and sugar beets. This is the place where they grow potatoes, too. The heads of the sunflowers are all drooping and looking down.

Well, I'm happy to report we only had a very slight drizzle and no rain at times in Broc Fabrique and Gruyères. Heading back home, the rain came down harder once we passed Thun and headed toward Interlaken. It is also bone chilling cold.

It has been a fun day!

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