If someone were to ask me: ‘What is your favourite type of cuisine?’, I’d genuinely struggle to give a definitive answer. I’m as fickle as the British weather. One day, I will profess my undying love for Spanish food; the next I’m besotted with Lebanese; only to turn around and be utterly smitten with Italian food. This week, I’ve re-ignited my love for French food.
After a crazy few months, I’ve just had a week break skiing in the French alps with my boyfriend and my family. Alpine air, fresh powder, sunshine and French food – what more good a girl want?!
Well, sadly we didn’t have that much sunshine, with only a couple of days of brilliant weather like this. The rest of the time was cloudy, misty and snowy, so next week the conditions are going to be fab. Shame we weren’t staying for another week!
Even so, there was some serious eating going on, as I took it upon myself to sample all the culinary delights of the Savoyarde region in France. Here’s a round up of some of the dishes that I tried:
Tartiflette – a mouthwatering, delectable, and utterly divine combination of potatoes, cream, bacon and cheese. Completely unhealthy, but one mouthful of this classic Savoyarde dish and you are infoodieheaven. Serve with a side salad just to make you feel a little better about the calories in the main dish, though it did complement the dish beautifully, cutting through the heaviness of the cream and cheese.
Steak hache – in any other country, simply a beef burger, but when half way up a slope in the French Alps, this is a steak hache. Simple. Classic. And delicious. The boys lived off these the entire week!
Salade Savoyarde – this is not just any salad. This is a French Salade Savoyarde. Packed with fresh tomatoes, walnuts, cured ham, potato and a creamy, chive dressing, this was just a simple salad for lunch. Can you believe it was listed under the starter section of the menu?!
Steak Tartare – when in France… I was feeling brave one lunchtime and decided to give this French delicacy a go. Made from raw mince meat, with an egg cracked on top, and serve with capers, red onions, gherkins and seasoning, this dish isn’t for the fainthearted. As I love my steak blue, verging on still alive, I actually quite enjoyed this dish. Though you definitely needed the seasonings and onions to liven up the mince, as it tastes a little bland without it.
French Onion Soup – a classic. And I promise there’s actually soup beneath that mountain of cheese. The perfect lunchtime meal for warming up after a cold morning on the slopes.
On the final night, as is tradition in our family, we went out for dinner and order traditional Savoyarde dishes: Raclette. It can come in various forms, but here we tried Reblochannade (also known as the ‘frying pan’ version!). Melted cheese, scraped over hot, buttery potatoes and served with cured meats and ham, it’s the perfect apres ski meal.
And for the boys, who prefer to focus solely on meat (which you may have guessed given their obsession with steak hache!):
A ‘Hot Rock’ – a piping hot slate where you cook the meat yourself. I do believe there were some raw peppers and mushrooms on the dish that were meant to be cooked as well, but as you can see, their focus was elsewhere!