My dad grew up in a small Alpine village, which today is part of a large ski resort. His father was a grocer and he was the first of his siblings to go to university, leave the small village and become a lawyer. My parents met in Miami of all places – no place more different than flashy Miami and a small sleepy alpine village.
My father loved food – he would try new foods and loved to seek out traditional foods all over the world. When we lived in a small town in Switzerland, he would serve brunch with pancakes, eggs and bacon - shocking the Swiss visitors with the type of food and the unsavoury hour it was served. This was the 70s and 80s after all. But he also made sure that we knew what the foods were that he grew up with – simple alpine food – potatoes, cured meats and sharp cheeses. My father passed away five years ago after a two year battle with cancer. He was 61 years old. Today’s recipe is Maluns – a meal he served us every time we visited after my parents divorced. Maluns is a potato based meal with origin in Chur. It was a special meal made by farmers for weddings – it’s very simple, but it takes some patience. So today I took the time to make Maluns and to introduce it to my children, knowing that he would have served it to them had he known them.If you ever visit the eastern region of Switzerland – make sure to try this meal. It’s comforting, simple and a piece of history.
- 1 kg potatoes
- 300 g flour
- 280 g butter
- Apple sauce
- Strong cheese, such as Alpine cheese, Gruyere, Tilsiter
- Cook the potatoes a day in advance and peel while warm
- Grate half the potatoes and cut the other half into thin slices
- Gently mix the flour mixture with a generous amount of salt and mix with all the potatoes until they are covered in flour
- Melt 50 g of butter in a heavy skillet and add the potato mixture
- At medium heat under constant stirring fry the potatoes - adding pieces of butter along the way.
- After 45 minutes you'll get small, crunchy potato crumbs
- Serve with apple sauce and strong cheese.