The Best Cheese For Pommes Aligot, And What To Do When You Can't Find It

Pommes aligot is a French take on cheesy mashed potatoes. The potatoes are finely mashed into a puree consistency and combined with the perfect creamy cheeses to form a gooey and stretchy mash. At first glance, the texture may seem similar to gluey mashed potatoes, something that we wish to avoid at all costs. However, with the amount of melty cheese incorporated into this dish, a gummy and stretchy potato gives the desired effect of a potato fondue.

Aligot comes from the Aveyron region of France and is usually made with Tomme de Laguiole or Tomme d'Auvergne cheese. These semi-hard cheeses are made from unpasteurized Aubrac cow's milk which has a characteristic hazelnut flavor, adding both a savory and aromatic touch to the mashed potatoes. Sadly, these cheeses are hard to find outside of France, so you'll most likely have to use other options that are easier to come by. Luckily in the U.S., we have access to nutty, flavorful cheeses like Gruyère, Emmental, and Fontina, which make great substitutes.

Use a blend of cheeses for your pommes aligot

For the best aligot outside of France, use a combination of a flavorful cheese and a stretchy one. Our top choices are Gruyère and mozzarella since Gruyère has a comparably earthy and salty flavor profile. Mozzarella is the standard go-to for a great cheese pull, which is exactly what you'll need in your aligot. In fact, the indicator of a successful aligot is to have a satisfying rope of potato cheese form every time you lift your spoon. People even use scissors to cut this rope when serving it on a plate! If you can't find Gruyère, any semi-firm Swiss cheese like Fontina and Comté will make excellent substitutes.

Our pommes aligot recipe calls for a 1:1 ratio of Gruyère and mozzarella, roughly ¾ pound of each cheese. The best part of this dish is that it's arguably easier to master than standard mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes are more temperamental: They must be carefully rinsed to wash off excess starch and can become tacky when over mixed. Pommes aligot can be prepared in a food processor and still won't be over mixed. The goal with this dish is to have something tacky, smooth, and elastic, so you can let the starch molecules cling to one another. Just be sure to incorporate the cheeses in parts. For a smooth potato cheese puree, add the cheese in slices over low heat, and they'll easily melt into your potatoes.