5 must-try local and mountain specialities in the Alps

On holiday in the Alps, the pleasures of the mountains can also be enjoyed on the plate. So close to the mountain pastures, it's the ideal time to taste quality local cheeses that will give a very special flavour to your raclettes and fondues. Here are the specialities you must try in the mountains this winter to enjoy local products, from starter to dessert!

Fondue

What is your best memory in the mountains? Fondue, of course! Who has never scraped the bottom of the fondue pot or lost a piece of bread, between laughter and greed? Fondue is inseparable from ski holidays. In Savoie, it is made of Beaufort, Abondance and Emmental cheese. Add white wine, garlic to flavour the fondue pot, a dash of kirsch and you're done! There are many other variations based on Comté, Savoy tomme or Morbier cheese. After that, it's just a matter of taste! We can only advise you to buy directly from the farm from local producers or to taste a fondue in a restaurant that favours short circuits.

Some locavore addresses where to get Beaufort cheese:
Cooperative d'Aime-la-Plagne (24-hour vending machine) (External link)
Cooperative Laitière de La Chambre en Maurienne (External link)
Fromagerie Coopérative Laitière de la Vallée des Arves (External link)
Coopérative Laitière de Moûtiers (several outlets including Coucrhevel) (External link)
La Ferme de Pralong in Courchevel (External link)

Swiss raclette

It is the other iconic mountain speciality. Raclette has everyone in agreement, from cheese lovers to charcuterie (and potato) lovers! This recipe was invented by Swiss people in the 19th century and has crossed our borders, to our great pleasure.
Today, there is a Raclette de Savoie PGI recognisable by its smooth yellow to orange rind. Today, raclette is available in several flavours (pepper, white wine, bear's garlic, smoked with beech wood, etc.) or plain for the purists. Like the fondue, it is a convivial way to spend an unforgettable moment with friends and family and to face the winter gently. You can buy it in a local fruit shop or cooperative or share this Alpine speciality in one of the following good gourmet addresses.

A few gourmet and locavore addresses:

Learn more about Raclette de Savoie IGP (External link)

Crozets

According to legend, crozets originated in the 17th century in the Tarentaise valley in Savoie, a stone's throw from Mont Blanc. The word "crozet" comes from the Savoyard patois "croé", which means "small". Crozets are small, square-shaped pasta made of flour, eggs, salt and water. You can eat them in soup, in gratin with Beaufort cheese and even in a revisited version of tartiflette, the "croziflette"! Their small size is thought to be linked to the desire of mountain people to carry a reduced volume of food in their packs during their expeditions to the summits.

Savoy cake

Light as a feather, this cake is one of the emblems of Savoy! Ideal for accompanying tea, it is made of potato starch and/or flour, powdered sugar, eggs and grated lemon peel. This Alpine speciality was born in 1358 in Chambéry, during a diplomatic meeting between Count Amédée VI of Savoy and Charles IV of Luxembourg. For the anecdote, at the time, Savoy was not yet French. The recipe for the Savoy cake was created by the confectioner Pierre de Yenne.

Brioche with pralines

Another unmissable mountain speciality in the Alps is the brioche aux pralines, or brioche de Saint-Genix. It was born in 1880, from the imagination of the pastry chef Pierre Labully who had the idea of inserting pralines (made on the spot) inside the brioche. A successful bet! The brioche is coloured a pretty pink and has a sweet taste when the pralines melt. He registered his creation under his name, Gâteau Labully. Today, it is impossible to pass through Saint-Genix-les-Villages (formerly Saint-Genix-sur-Guiers) without stopping at the Labully pastry shop to taste this famous praline brioche!

The gourmet address not to be missed

Patisserie Bavuz / Gâteau Labully (External link)

Our selection of locavore restaurants in the Alps

Getting to the French Alps