Discover the cuisine of the Rhône-Alpes
A strong and varied culinary heritage
With Lyon, the world capital of gastronomy, and 60 Michelin-starred chefs in the region, the Rhône-Alpes is a culinary force to be reckoned with (and tasted!). The region is characterized by the variety of its production, and the richness of its soil: poultry from Bresse, fish from Dombes or Lake Geneva, cured meats in Lyon, olives from Nyons, and truffles from Tricastin. On the sweeter side, you can sample bilberry and sweet chestnut from Drôme and Ardèche, nougat from Montélimar or walnuts from Grenoble. In the south, dishes are spiced up with aromatic herbs, some of which are also used for medicinal remedies.
In the traditional “bouchons” (restaurants) of Lyon, the menu will often include a salad of cervelat, andouillette, cooked pork, and cervelle de canut (“silk worker’s brains” a Lyonnaise speciality cheese spread seasoned with herbs, shallots, olive oil and vinegar). Up in the mountains, try a traditional tartiflette, a culinary specialty of the Haute-Savoie with a base of potato and reblochon, or the farcement, a dish made from potatoes, lardons, prunes, and raisins. In Isère, the gratin dauphinois is the crème de la crème, whereas in Drôme, the ravioles of Romans take center stage. In Ain, Georges Blanc’s famous fattened chicken and the Galette of Pérouges rule the table.
For cheeses, the tray is filled with Beaufort, Abondance, Reblochon of the Alps and the other Picodons, Bleu of Bresse or Fourme of Montbrison.
Wines and Spirits:
Let us not forget wines! First of all, the Côtes du Rhône in the South of Lyon with famous northern crus: Condrieu, Côte Rôtie, Hermitage. The vineyards of Beaujolais also offer 10 famous crus, among them Morgon, Brouilly, Fleurie, and Juliénas. The wines of Savoy, Bugey, and Ardèche (Côtes du Vivarais), the coteaux du Tricastin, the Côtes du Forez and the Côte Roannaise complete the wine heritage of Rhône-Alpes.
And the beer? The region counts no less than 25 traditional micro-breweries all over the territory and we find beers flavored with the products of the soil: beer with sweet chestnut, bilberry, walnuts, and water from the glaciers in the Alps!
Water itself flows freely in the Rhône-Alpes with mineral water from Evian and Thonon, and sparkling water from Valleys or Saint-Galmier (the Badoit!). Rhône-Alpes is the largest producer of mineral water in France.
Recipe: Gratin Dauphinois
Preparation Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time : 1 hour
- 1 ⅓ pounds (600g) potatoes
- 2 teaspoons margarine
- ½ cup (50g) grated low-fat Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup (20 cL) 2% milk
- ¼ cup crème fraîche
- salt, pepper
- Peel the potatoes and cut them into thin round slices.
- Grease the gratin dish with the margarine.
- Place the first layer of potatoes in the dish and then a layer of cheese and so on.
- Salt and pepper.
- Mix together the milk and crème fraîche and pour the mixture over the potatoes.
- Cook in the oven for 60 minutes at 400°F (200°C).