Malakoff – “Killing Me Softly…”

The first of August is Swiss National Day and here in Geneva there were a lot of different things happening.

As it was a Swiss festival I had to try this very Swiss cheese (Cheese? Really?! How come?!!!) dish!

Apparently the tradition says that the Malakoff is a “war prize” because in the 19th century, during the time of the invasion of Fort Malakoff in Sebastopol, Russia, Swiss soldiers from the Vaud region brought back the recipe to their villages of Luins and Vinzel where it has become a popular specialty.

The recipe is apparently a secret!

There was no way to get information about the cheese mix so I had a look on the internet and I found a few different recipes!

The common ingredients are:

A crunchy rounded Bread base

Gruyère cheese, grated




Aside from these ingredients, the rest of the recipes vary – some add flour, some maizena, some white wine, some olive oil

Anyway, there is only one concept: take the crispy bread base – you can use a baguette cut in round pieces – and using a spoon, cover it with some of the cheese mix.

You will have a half ball that you will need to throw in hot oil and cook until it turns into a nice gold crispy cheese ball!

The Malakoff was served with some mustard and pickles.

It tasted very very good – though it killed me very softly bite after bite, as it is definitely not a light thing!

The inside is melting, while the outside is crunchy!

I will not try to make it at home as the idea of frying in my tiny kitchen is not tempting, especially when outside it is 30°C!

But if you have the chance to try a Malakoff somewhere, or if you are brave enough to make it yourself, go for it – but nothing else, unless you have a big stomach!. It is tasty and I never tried anything similar.


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