Torrée (outdoor barbecue party)


Category:
Social practices
  • Knowledge concerning nature
Canton:

Description

A torrée is not a proper torrée without a saucisson neuchâtelois. On a sunny day, a fire is lit at the edge of a forest. The sausage is wrapped in cabbage leaves, butcher paper, newspaper or aluminium foil and placed directly on the burning embers to cook. It is then served with potatoes, salad, bread as well as other treats including a glass of white wine and a spoonful of mustard to bring out all the delicious flavours of the meat. This custom which is exclusive to Neuchâtel has become a fun day out with family and friends, but originally served a purely utilitarian function. On a particular day every year local farmers would set about clearing away trees and other vegetation that encroached on their land. They would bring a sausage with them, which they would cook on a huge fire made from the trees and bushes they had felled. Although the torrée is practised nowadays purely for fun and enjoyment, respect for the natural environment is still a concern for those involved, with every effort taken to collect and dispose of their rubbish appropriately. Forest rangers recommend that the fire should be lit in a spot far from young trees and the pit surrounded by stones. This much-loved tradition has become synonymous with the region, so much so that every year the town of Le Locle hosts a giant torrée for new arrivals, and by doing so reminds its new residents of the strong sense of identity and belonging that this practice invokes.

Image gallery

  • Building the fire © Hugo Guillaume-Gentil, Patrick Pointaire, 2011
  • Saucisson neuchâtelois © Hugo Guillaume-Gentil, Patrick Pointaire, 2011
  • The "torrée" © Fonds Fernand Perret/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • The "torrée" © Fonds Fernand Perret/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • The "torrée" © Fonds Fernand Perret/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • Building the fire © Hugo Guillaume-Gentil, Patrick Pointaire, 2011
  • Saucisson neuchâtelois © Hugo Guillaume-Gentil, Patrick Pointaire, 2011
  • The "torrée" © Fonds Fernand Perret/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • The "torrée" © Fonds Fernand Perret/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds
  • The "torrée" © Fonds Fernand Perret/Département audiovisuel de la Bibliothèque de la Ville de La Chaux-de-Fonds

Video

Hugo Guillaume-Gentil, Patrick Pointaire: La torrée, 2011 © Hugo Guillaume-Gentil, Patrick Pointaire

References and documentation

Publications
  • Base de données lexicographiques panfrancophone, 2011

  • Chambre neuchâteloise d'agriculture et de viticulture (Ed.) : Plan de gestion intégrée pour le site pilote du Communal de La Sagne. Neuchâtel, 2008

  • Valérie Miéville-Ott, Vincent Barbezat : Perceptions du pâturage boisé. Résultats d’un sondage effectué au Communal de La Sagne NE. 2008

  • William Pierrehumbert : Dictionnaire historique du parler neuchâtelois et suisse romand. Neuchâtel, 2008

  • André Thibault : Dictionnaire suisse romand. Particularités lexicales du français contemporain. Ed. Pierre Knecht. Carouge-Genève, 2004

Documentation
  • La torrée

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