If you thought that the slopes would be the only thing on the minds of ski holiday makers to the French Alps, you may just be wrong! It may surprise you to know that cheese is high on the agenda of those in the know. After tasting some of the delicious food on offer at your catered chalets you too might find yourself thinking about the next encounter with a wheel of brie – or indeed any of the other delectable cheeses from the French Alpine region! Here are a few to whet your appetite.
Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage
If your catered chalets serve up ‘tarte aux poireaux’ at lunch you’ll be more than pleased. This traditional leek tart is made with the regional cheese of Bleu du Vercors-Sassenage. This pasteurised cheese is made from the milk of Montbeliard, Abondance and Villard cows. It’s a wonderful blue cheese with a soft texture and sweet nutty flavour and is a regular feature of many French cheese platters.
This is a popular fresh cheese from the Savoie Region that is one of the stars of a favourite dish called Tartiflette. If you’re a regular visitor to the Alpine slopes you’ve probably had Tartiflette quite a few times already – but if this is your first time, you’re in for a real treat! The meal uses a luxurious recipe containing potatoes, onions, bacon, cream, and lots of melted Reblochon cheese! It’s a tasty filling meal, usually served up with greens and deli meats and is a regular feature on the tables of France’s catered chalets.
Tomme de Savoie
This is a wonderful mild, semi firm cheese made from cow’s milk that is loved by all – but especially kids. As it has a softer, mild flavour it makes for a great ingredient in mashed potato that also sends the relatively ordinary dish to new heights.
Beaufort is a wonderfully noble cheese and is definitely considered to be one of the kings of the alpine cheeses! It is an unpasteurised cheese made with milk from Tarine (or Tarentaise) cows that live in the Alpine region and graze exclusively on the lush, abundant pastures. Because of their superior diet, Beaufort is richer and creamer than other cheeses like Emmental or Gruyere. It is aromatic and has a light flower and herb scent.
Beaufort is absolutely delicious in fondue and toasted sandwiches and a host of other traditional Alpine dishes. But many say the very best way to eat this wonderfully decadent cheese is as an accompaniment to smoked salmon.