When in Chamonix, Choose Cheese!
No trip to this area of France is complete without discovering the truly comforting delights of classic Savoyarde cookery. The Haute Savoie is famed for the multiple ways in which a mix of potatoes, cheese and bacon are served. This is comfort food at its very best and a must at the end of a cold day’s skiing in Chamonix.
Discover these classic cheese dishes
Raclette – essentially a hot cheese sharing platter, traditional raclette uses lait cru Savoyard cheese. This is participation food; you get to heat your cheese and pour the resulting molten loveliness over the potatoes that accompany it. Better yet, there will also be cured meat, crispy cornichons and pickled silverskin onions on offer too. Some serve it with a salad and others without
Tartiflette – in Tartiflette we trust, well certainly those who live in the Haute Savoie. Reblochon cheese is the crowning glory to this dish. A combination of onions, smoked lardons and potatoes (and some other variants depending on your chef) which is cooked in the oven. It’s all topped with a covering of Reblochon with the crust side up. The result is a rich potato dish into which the cheese has melted, complete with a crispy topping. It’s always served with a salad and we find wine’s great with it too!
Fondue – the most widely recognised of the cheese favourites, there’s more to this classic melting pot than the main ingredient alone. It needs wine, it needs care and, depending on your tastes, it might also need mushrooms. Depending on the restaurant, you’ll find fondue served with bread, cured meats and potatoes amongst other things.
Croziflette – another deep-dive into Reblochon loveliness, think Tartiflette but instead of potatoes, this oven-baked dish uses buckwheat ‘crozi’ pasta instead. It’s all just a matter of personal preference.
Croûte au Fromage – a delight from the oven, this cheesy offering includes French bread cooked with wine and cheese. Variants include cooked ham, mushrooms and even an egg on top.
Cheese-free Savoyarde Specialities
In most specialist Savoyarde restaurants, you’ll normally find some cheese-free regional specialities too, including:
Pierrade – fun food whichever way you come at this. A giant hot stone on which to cook your choice of beef, pork or chicken all served with baked potatoes and a variety of accompaniments.
Braserade – just like the Pierrade, but using the heat of a table-top barbeque rather than a stone.
For a truly local eating experience and all things cheese dining, then check out the following…
In central Chamonix chose from the La Calèche, Le Monchu, La Moraine, La Fer à Cheval, Le Sérac, Le Bivouac, La Tablée or Chez Constant.
Discover Restaurant La Robinson in the woods on the way to les Praz or Le Tremplin at the base of the ski jump in les Bossons. In Les Houches there’s Le Basilic or La Chavanne.