Les Gaudes was a cheap, basic food substance for rural families in the county of Bresse, part of Burgundy, near the Swiss border. (This county is also famous for its Bresse chicken). The main ingredient of this recipe is grilled corn flour, which, when mixed with milk, produces a fairly consistent gruel.
During the harsh times of the second world war, the gaudes were a main food substance used in nearly all recipes. Meat was impossible to buy (unless you were very lucky) and most meals consisted of soups. Even now, people such as my own parents, consider it to be a stark reminder of war-time conditions and place this ingredient alongside the Jerusalem artichoke!
However, its appetizing aroma is much sought after today by chefs in particular in the north-eastern territories of France and especially in the winter. It’s gives off a very pleasant grilled hazlenut aroma.
In reference to the color of the grilled corn flour, the people of Bressans were nicknamed “the yellow bellies”!