We left for the Auvergne at 9am. We were a caravan of 3 cars with a total of 12 people. This was my first time stopping to ski in the Auvergne. After a 3 hour trip mostly on motorway, we arrived at our destination, Le Lioran.
Le Lioran is a family winter resort in the heart of the Cantal mountains. To get there after you leave the motorway you need to take small roads and pass through picturesque little villages. We arrived at Le Lioran at midday, and headed straight for the first decent restaurant we saw. After a kir (white wine and liquor de cassis) we had one of the specialities of the region, Auvergne ham with truffade.
The truffade is basically potatoes cooked in the pan with onions, once ready you add tomme cheese and cream. Of course the main course was followed by some regional cheeses, dessert and coffee.
We spend the afternoon skiing until dawn when we decided to go on a cheese hunt. One of our friends knew a cheese farm and promised to take us there to see how the cheeses were made. We drove through the Cantal mountains, climbed up snowy roads and just made it down sloppy ice roads for about two hours, we saw foxes, snow and more snow, but we never found the cheese farm! Disappointed we return to our rented chalet without cheese. Later that night we went out again, this time for dinner. We had booked in a little family restaurant where we had enjoyed some hot mulled wine earlier during the day. The dinner was delicious, some of us had a raclette and the others a foundue. Both dishes are made with cheese. The raclette is basically a piece of cheese which is heated on a special apparel, the “raclette”. The melted cheese is then poured over potatoes and hams. The fondue is melted cheese with white wine; it is served in a little pan with a source of constant heat to keep the cheese runny. To eat a cheese fondue you use special sticks to grab old pieces of bread and dip it in the cheese. The dinner was delicious, followed by baked apples in caramel sauce and a glass of calvados.