Attention all gourmets and gourmands! Get ready to indulge in lots of irresistible savoury flavours in the Southern Alps. Is your mouth already watering? Here’s our scoop on the best local dishes in the Alps.
Taste Traditional Tourtons and Ravioli from Champsaur
Small, hot pockets of dough stuffed with potatoes, vegetables, cheese or cold meats (or sometimes with stewed fruits), tourtons are a top delicacy of the Champsaur region. Traditionally, they were served during the holiday season, but now you can enjoy them all year round. To do so, visit the Tourtonnerie de l’Ubaye in Barcelonnette. Though the tourtons look like ravioli, Champsaur ravioli actually resemble mozzarella sticks or spring rolls made from potatoes, tomme cheese, and eggs. They are eaten as a starter or as part of a main meal alongside meat. They also can be served with raspberry jam, or honey.
Try Cheeses that are Full of Character
To discover the diversity of alpine flavours, go and meet the local cheese makers. Open the doors of the dairies and let the enthusiasts guide you! Head to the Fromagerie de la Durance in Guillestre to discover the Fontu du Queyras, a house speciality made from raw cow’s milk. Appreciate the fruity flavour of this melted cheese or succumb to the Bleu du Queyras, another symbolic regional product. The producers will gladly make their favourite recipes to show off their cheeses!
Savour Olive Oil in Sospel
In the highlands of Nice, only several kilometres from Italy, the olive tree groves give life to an exceptional olive oil. In Sospel, Frédéric and Carla Soffiotti welcome you to their Soffiotti & Fils estate. After visiting the olive grove, move on to the tasting part. On the menu, find olive oils, tapenades and olives in brine. Since they are 100% biological, visiting this area is a must for gourmets in search of healthy, eco-friendly food.
Crunch the Chestnuts of the Alps
For more than fifty years, on the first weekend of November, the Isola 2000 ski resort celebrates the flavours and tastes of the chestnut in a good-natured, festive atmosphere. Take the opportunity to talk to the local farmers about this high-valued and long-standing local delicacy and to snack on the famous roasted chestnuts. But, above all, it’s time to have fun! Hit the dance floor under the tent and smile at the folkloric entertainment that flourishes in the village streets. If you’re thirsty, enjoy a toast with the local chestnut beer, Castagna.
Enjoy Einkorn Wheat
Distinguished by a protected geographical certification (IGP), the Einkorn wheat of the Haute-Provence region is the ancestor of all wheat. It has not been genetically modified for more than 10,000 years! In the fifth century, it kept the inhabitants of the rural areas alive when Nordic tribes invaded Provence. Einkorn wheat is rich in protein and low in gluten. You can buy it directly in Lazer at the Ferme de Noëlle Taxil farm, which also produces seeds to germinate, as well as fruit.
Feast on Donkey’s Ears
The traditional Valgaudemar dish, oreilles d’ânes (donkey’s ears), gets its name from the wild spinach leaf that is its main ingredient. The leaves gather together when they reach the height and shape of a donkey’s ear. This comforting dish is actually a lasagne/gratin combo made with wild spinach, onions, crème fraiche, béchamel, and Gruyère cheese.
Fall in Love with the Fumeton of the Alps
We like to indulge in the meats and cheeses of the Alps around a tasty raclette. This is a good opportunity to try the fumeton, one of the Vallée de l’Ubaye specialities. Made from dried mutton and prepared using an ancestral alpine salting technique, it can also be enjoyed as an aperitif – raw or smoked.
GASTRONOMY & LOCAL PRODUCT
THE BEST SWEETS IN THE ALPS
Tarte des Alpes, alpine berries, honey and jams. If you have a sweet tooth you’ll be spoiled by the natural and authentic alpine sweets and the specialities that are passionately made by local producers. Let’s take your taste buds on a remarkable, delicious journey.