Savoyard food specialities to enjoy from the French Alps

May 10, 2009 by  

If you’ve been ski-ing in the Alps recently you’ll have enjoyed, like me, some of the food specialities of the region. It’s simple mountain fare, with various combinations of melted cheese, charcuterie and potatoes, guaranteed to pack in the calories you’ve burned after a muscle aching day on the slopes.

Although we were in a self-catering apartment on our recent holiday in Val Cenis in the French Alps, we ate out in a local restaurant on one night of our stay. There’s generally a family friendly selection of familar dishes but inevitably there’ll be a part of the menu set aside for Savoyard specialities.

Salad Savoyard

Salad Savoyard

For starters there’s Salad Savoyard, which is a salad topped with croutons, lardons (small chunks of fried bacon) and cubes of the local cheese. Then for the main course you can go the melted cheese route or the grilled meat route. Melted cheese is either the fondue made of local cheese mixed with white wine into which you dip your bread and sometimes vegetables, or the tartiflette which is sliced potatoes baked with bacon, cream and local cheese, or the raclette which we tried.

Raclette in the French Alps

Raclette in the French Alps

For the Raclette, a half of the hard round local cheese is melted under a small table-top grill and the melted cheese is scraped onto your plate – it’s named after the French word racler, to scrape. It’s served with waxy boiled potatoes and cornichons (small pickled gherkins) and sometimes some air dried ham and salami.

Savoyard speciality or Pierrade

Savoyard speciality or Pierrade

If you go the grilled meat route, then a platter of sliced raw meat is cooked on a table top grill and served with chips, different sauces and a salad. It’s known as a pierrade, referring to the way in which the meat would have traditionally been cooked on hot rocks. My husband and I had the raclette, the kids had the pierrade which suited them fine as the meat was very plain to suit their unadventurous palates.

Inevitably, the traditional Savoyard meal’s completed by a tarte au myrtilles or blackcurrent tarte. During the day we didn’t really stop for much to eat as the mountain restaurants were extremely expensive, but if we did have anything it was a hot chocolate and a crepe to warm us up before we hit the piste again.

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See my photos from Val Cenis on Flickr

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Comments

6 Comments on "Savoyard food specialities to enjoy from the French Alps"

  1. The Good Friday service in the ski resort of Val Cenis - in France : Heather on her travels on Fri, 22nd May 2009 7:07 am 

    […] You may also enjoy Keeping my ski helmet on in Val Cenis Savoyard Food specialities to enjoy from the French Alps […]

  2. The Best Ski Resorts in France, Canada, USA | Heather on her travels on Fri, 16th Apr 2010 11:35 pm 

    […] The Good Friday service in the ski resort of Val Cenis – in France Keeping my ski-helmet on in Val Cenis – France Savoyard food specialities to enjoy from the French Alps […]

  3. A Mini tour de Mont Blanc | Heather on her travels on Mon, 3rd May 2010 8:18 am 

    […] The Good Friday service in Val Cenis Keeping my ski-helmet on in Val Cenis Savoyard Food specialities from the French Alps […]

  4. Henry on Sat, 5th Jun 2010 2:12 am 

    Great stuff! Keep bringing it! :)

  5. Fondue, Raclette and Tartiflette - Savoyard specialities to enjoy | Heather on her travels on Wed, 6th Oct 2010 9:24 pm 

    […] in the Alps, whether it be walking in summer or ski-ing in summer, you’ll be tempted by these Savoyard specialities that involve plenty of cheese and […]

  6. Snowboarding in Pas de la Casa, Andorra | Heather on her travels on Fri, 16th Mar 2012 11:24 pm 

    […] The Good Friday Service in the ski resort of Val Cenis in France Keeping my ski helmet on in Val Cenis, France Savoyard food specialities in the Alps […]

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