Contrary to what you might think, Savoyard cuisine is not limited to fondue and raclette. These dishes are not even truly traditional, since they were imported from Switzerland at the start of the 20th century. Savoyard gastronomy is all about regional cuisine with several identity dishes that vary slightly from one village to the next and even from one family to another.
Small and square
Let’s talk about potatoes!
Bread, a French tradition
The cheese platter
La Plagne has many herds of cows, sheeps and goats… Their milk is used to make different cheeses, the most emblematic of which is the Beaufort cheese, which exists in several versions: winter, summer and alpage. Beaufort d’alpage is quite rare, since it is made at over 1500 metres in an Alpine chalet with milk from a single herd of cows. You will love its fruity, flowery taste! In summer, several chalets in Plagne Villages, Granier and Champagny-en-Vanoise sell their cheese directly. You should also try some Raclette de Savoie. It is soft and creamy when melted for a fun raclette evening, but it can also be enjoyed cold. Children will love Emmental de Savoie with its holes, also called “eyes”. Tomme de Savoie cheese also has the PGI label (protected geographical indication). This small cheese is about 20 cm in diameter with a grey rind. It can be mild or strong according to how long it is matured. A number of other dairy products are also available: sérac (made with the whey), faisselle (similar to cottage cheese), cream, butter…
Good to know: just next to the Beaufort cooperative in Aime there is a 24hr vending machine for cheese addicts!
If you have a sweet tooth
Grapes grow on the Versant du Soleil, and the vines and the low walls shape the landscape up to an altitude of 800 m, bearing witness to an earlier self-sufficient agricultural society. A few dozen hectares are kept up by heroic winegrowers and in La Côte d’Aime, the motivated winegrowers have a modern wine press so they can make quality wine or just press part of their harvest. There are also several beekeepers in the valleys and mountainsides of La Plagne. The honey from their hives is as varied as the flowers that grow in Savoie: dandelion honey, mountain honey, rhododendron honey... You have probably seen a pot of Savoie honey, with its red and white shield, the proud emblem of Savoie Beekeepers’ Association “Le Rucher des Allobroges”. As far as drinks are concerned, there is a microbrewery in Aime La Plagne producing artisanal beer. If you want to try it, you can head to the Brasserie des Ceutrons. At the end of the meal in many restaurants, it is not unusual to be offered a small glass of genepi or another liqueur with a taste of the mountains, like sapinette or gentiane. There are also many apple orchards in the valley and on the Versants du Soleil and, in the autumn, the apples are used to make apple juice or cider. Families get together to press the apples and some villages organise an Apple Festival.