04 Aug 20

Mont Blanc Mountain Food

Diane McGuinness European Alps France

Mountain food is traditionally based on what can be grown or reared at altitude, and what can be kept through the harsh winters. So in the Mont Blanc region you will find dishes like the french Tartiflette, which is potatoes onion and bacon baked in the oven in a cheese sauce, or the Italian Carbonada, which is a stew in white wine sauce traditionally served with polenta.

A personal favourite is the Farciment Savoyarde, which comes from the French alpine valleys and is a grated potato and plum loaf, wrapped in local bacon, and cooked and served in slices.

The local salamis and cured hams are likewise excellent.

The high mountain pastures of the Alps, full of wildflowers, are ideal grazing for sheep, goats and cattle, so it should come as no surprise that the area is famous for its cheese. The well-known hard cheeses with a distinctive mature tang, such as Beaufort or Gruyere, are perfect for eating with an aperitif or as a dessert.

There are many other local cheeses, though, which are noted for how well they melt and are ideal for cooking the traditional local dishes such as Croute or Tartiflette; or for melting into a fondue pot.

Red wines are ideal to accompany the hard cheeses, but many people do not know that white wine is actually a better accompaniment for cooked cheese dishes. The Mont Blanc region can provide both; the surprisingly good wines of the Swiss Rhone Valley (Dole for red wine and Fendant – a version of Sauvignon Blanc – for white) are sold in many of the places we stay at and are definitely worth a try.


Written By

Diane McGuinness

Di lives in Chamonix in the French Alps and is a fully qualified International Mountain Leader and trekking guide. She has formidable knowledge of the mountains, culture and customs of the Italian Dolomites and Tour du Mont Blanc. She is also an enthusiastic connoisseur of Italian food and wine.

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