Aveyron Aligot

The typical Aligot, speciality from the Aveyron department in Midi-Pyrénées, is a mouth-watering cheese and potato meal. Traditionally made with the Tommes de Laguiole or Tomme d'Aubergne cheese, "l'Aligot" is a French country speciality highly appreciated in the local gastronomy with Saucisses de Toulouse (Toulouse sausages) or roast pork.

This delicious fondue-like dish from the Aveyron department is also a common sight in Auvergne's restaurants. Aligot's original recette is actually simple, the secret of this meal lies in its ingredients - and more precisely the cheese.

The Aligot cheese is in fact made out from mashed potatoes blended with a bit of butter, creme fraiche, crushed garlic and, the most important, melted local cheese. The most popular cheese for the Aveyron-style Aligot is the Tomme Cheese produced in the area of Laguiole, in the Midi-Pyrénées region.

Another requirement to create a delightful Aligot Aveyron cheese is to stir the mixture slowly with a wooden spoon until it becomes gooey - similar to a cheese fondue.

This mouth-watering cheesy puree was originally a shepherds' dish prepared with home grown potatoes and Aubrac cheese. It is believed in Midi-Pyrénées that the Aligot first occured when pilgrims would go to Santiago de Compostela and stop for a night in that region of France; Aveyron inhabitants used to offer them this wintry, plain meal.

Nowadays, this speciality exemplifies Southern France's convivial gastronomy. Enjoyed for village gatherings and celebrations as a main dish, the Aligot is still cooked by hand in Aveyron, at home as well as in street markets.

As it is lighter than a traditional potato puree and boasts a nutty flavour thanks to the Laguiole cheese, the Aligot is also served in many French restaurants to accompany grilled sausages, roast pork and even seafood.

To make the experience even more authentic, you can accompany this traditional French dish with a glass of Auvergne red wine.

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