Pigs and cabbages have long been farmed in French-speaking Switzerland, and both are staples of the winter diet. Many traditional dishes combine pork and cabbage, including several fresh and cured sausages.
Until a few years ago, two professional butchers and a boucher de campagne (a farmer who goes from house to house in the village to help families butcher their pigs for home consumption) were working in Château-d’Oex. They are the only remaining producers of Chantzet, a boudin (blood sausage) made from cabbage and pork. The ingredients are simple and natural: pork (mainly neck, fat and rind), fresh cabbage, two liters of fresh blood and spices. Only the pork rind is boiled in advance, without salt, and then vacuum-packed, not frozen. All the meat comes from the local slaughterhouse and is cut into quite large pieces.
White cabbage is grown locally and is used in many traditional recipes like soupe au choux (cabbage soup). The sausage is seasoned with nutmeg, marjoram, salt and pepper. The meat and cabbage are chopped and then mixed by hand with the blood and seasonings. A small press is used to fill natural casings with the mixture. The casings are stored dry, under salt, and rinsed in warm water before being filled. The casing must be beef or pork, and the Chantzet must be hand-tied using natural string, not synthetic. The sausage is formed into four or five rings, which give the Chantzet its typical U shape, and then laid
on a tray.
Chantzet must be consumed within a week or at the most 15 days, if vacuum-packed. The sausage is only occasionally smoked, and almost always cold- smoked. It is common to let it rest for a night in the refrigerator and sell it the next day.
Traditionally Chantzet is eaten boiled, on its own or paired with mashed potatoes or sautéed onions. The sausage has a dark garnet color, almost brown. The casing is easily cut, though the meat stays slightly attached to it. The meat is soft, with quite a coarse grain, and has a pleasantly balanced flavor with the pork and the seasonings, especially the marjoram, at the fore.
the boucher de campagne.
The Pays-d’Enhaut Chantzet Presidium has been set up in the Canton of Vaud, where two butchers have continued to make this fresh sausage according to the traditional recipe, using only local ingredients and processing them entirely by hand.
Pays d'Enhaut, Vaud canton
Presidium supported by
La Part-Dieu 193
1635 La Tour-de-Trême
tel. +41 269247881