When we think about our ideal ski day, there are many things that can cross our minds. Let it have a nice sun, that it has snowed recently, that we meet few people on the slopes ... But besides that, if you are a little gourmet there will be something else that you always wonder. And it is if there will be a good restaurant in the resort!
Okay, it has happened to all of us that we start skiing and forget the time and our stomach. But have you ever spent a while of your skiing day recharging your strength with a good plate of food ? And we are not referring to a huge hamburger with fries and a soft-drink, but to give you the pleasure of tasting a somewhat more elaborate recipe.
Since we discovered the small pleasure of sitting down to rest while tasting a delicious dish, we have not exchanged it for anything!
But whether you are one of those who are content to eat anything because you do not want to spend a minute without sliding down the slopes, or you are to sit for a long time to rest, we have another question for you. Have you ever wondered what is the typical dish of the area where you are?
In general, we tell you that all the typical dishes that you will be able to taste in the ski resorts revolve around mountain cuisine.
And what is typical mountain cuisine?
Mountain cuisine is, as its name suggests, the traditional food that is cooked in the mountainous regions. The amount of dishes that we can find is infinite, and depending on where we go, the recipes can be very different from each other.
What all these dishes do share are some common characteristics that make it possible to call them typical mountain cuisine:
✔ The foods used are local.
✔ It highly depends on the environment.
✔ It is seasonal, cooking according to the food obtained at each moment of the year.
✔ The dishes are usually caloric and consistent (we are talking about areas where it is very cold).
To awaken that curiosity to discover the typical mountain cuisine of the area where you are, we have prepared a delicious gastronomic guide with some of the best dishes that you can taste in the ski resorts.
We hope you've already eaten, because your stomach is going to roar. Take aim!
Mountain cuisine in the Pyrenees
From end to end, throughout the entire Pyrenees you can find a very varied gastronomy. But although depending on where you are you can find some dishes or others, in general the Pyrenees has a strong tradition of mountain cuisine .
As you well know, the mountain chain of the Pyrenees extends from Aragon to the south of France, and in the same way do the different ski resorts of the Pyrenees. This is great, because it will not be difficult for you to taste the rich Pyrenean gastronomy when you enjoy your ski holiday !
Among all the dishes that you can choose from, we have highlighted an essential of each area that you cannot stop trying. We warn you: you will want to travel many times to the snow to try them all!
In the Catalan Pyrenees: Trinchado de la Cerdanya
This carving is undoubtedly one of the most traditional dishes of the Catalan Pyreneesgastronomy, typical especially in Cerdanya, Alt Urgell and Andorra. Its origin dates back to nothing less than the 15th century!
It is the clear example of what we can call “subsistence kitchen”, and that is that years ago, in winter, the towns suffered long periods of isolation. Because of this, the inhabitants of these high mountain areas were forced to cook with what they had at hand. In this case cabbage, potatoes, garlic, bacon, salt and oil. Boil everything and mash everything with the fork (or carving, hence the name). As you can see, it is a very humble recipe, but the result is so popular that the recipe has reached today practically intact!
In the Aran Valley: Olla Aranesa
Although it is located in Catalonia, the Aran Valley is a unique place hidden among the mountains. In the same way it is also the Aranese gastronomy, of Gascon and Catalan influence.
The Aranese pot is, without question, the traditional star dish that must be tried if you visit the Aran Valley. And if we tell you that it is one of the oldest soup dishes in Europe , aren't you curious?
In its origins, this soup was the daily food of many peasant families, who boiled vegetables with some bones or remains of meat. It must be recognized that now the amount of meat used is much greater than then, but this recipe for typical mountain cuisine has not lost its essence.
In the Aragonese Pyrenees: Migas a la Pastora
Aragonese migas are a very humble dish that I ate years ago in rural areas of the Aragonese Pyrenees . It was especially associated with shepherds, hence its name! They prepared it in the mountains while the herd grazed, since it is a very caloric recipe perfect to provide energy on the coldest days.
This typical mountain cooking recipe uses stale bread as a base, and other ingredients such as garlic, lamb tallow, oil ...
In the French Pyrenees: Cassoulet
Cassoulet is a reference to typical mountain cuisine in the French Pyrenees , specifically in the central area. It is a dish with white beans as a basic ingredient, cooked with meat and sausages.
Its name, in Spanish cazoleta, comes from the cassole, the clay container used to cook over low heat. Originally this was a rural dish made from leftovers and seeds, which was later exchanged for white beans. Its simplicity is such that it is popularly known as "the poor man's plate"!
Mountain cuisine in Andorra
Andorran gastronomy, although it has its own dishes, also has many similarities with Catalan and French. It is normal being your closest neighbors!
It is a cuisine very based on mountain hunting and its substitutes such as sausages; in estuary fish, with trout as the main dish; and also with a lot of presence of wild mushbedrooms and fruits.
If we were to list all the typical dishes of Andorra, the list would be endless, so we have highlighted the 3 that we have found the most unique! (And with those who have made our mouths water the most).
Although Andorra does not have a coast, there are a large number of rivers and high mountain lakes. One of the most typical species in its waters is trout, the star of this dish.
In this traditional recipe, floured trout is roasted with ham, which gives off oil when cooked and adds a lot of flavor to the dish. Almonds or walnuts are also usually added, and it is usually accompanied with seasonal vegetables. A delicious combination!
These cannelloni are a variant of the original Catalan recipe. What changes is the filling: instead of the pork, beef and chicken filling, the Andorran version does not use beef but lamb. The combination, how could it be otherwise, is accompanied with bechamel.
This typical recipe is closely linked to the traditional game meat, and the remains are often used for the cannelloni. They look a lot like the Catalan version, but we recommend trying them, the lamb gives them a very special flavor!
As a good meal cannot be finished without something sweet, Andorran cream is a must that you have to try!
This creamy dessert has many similarities to Catalan cream and French crème brûlée. What differentiates the Andorran recipe is that instead of the burnt sugar layer on top, this time the cream is served accompanied by whites whipped to the point of snow. In addition, caramel is usually put on top. To lick your fingers!
Mountain cuisine in the Alps
The Alps mountain range, located in Central Europe, has some of the highest peaks in Europe . It is also the longest mountain range in Europe, passing through no less than 8 countries!
As we have seen so far, the altitude and cold areas have traditional recipes for mountain cuisine designed to combat the harsh winters, and the Alps were not going to be an exception! It will not cost you to find these dishes when you are skiing in one of the wonderful ski resorts that are in these mountains.
Some recipes from these mountainous areas are similar between neighboring countries, but we can also find typical dishes from each specific region. Here is the last list that we have prepared for you in this post. We anticipate that you are going to want to try them!
In the French Alps: Farcement
Farcement or farçon is a mountain cooking recipe that comes to us since the Middle Ages! Its origin is in the north of the French Alps , in the Savoy region.
This French recipe combines sweet and salty, something very common at that time. We found it very curious that it can be served both as a main dish and as a dessert! Originally, it had dried fruits, bacon and cabbage, although now potatoes are used instead of the latter. As a curiosity, this dish was prepared on Sundays after mass.
In the Swiss Alps: Fondue and Raclette
If you like cheese, this is undoubtedly your paradise. In the Swiss Alps most of their traditional recipes are based on simple ingredients like cheese and potato. In addition, Swiss gastronomy is highly influenced by its neighboring countries such as Italian, German and French cuisine.
How could it be otherwise, the star dishes in Swiss mountain cuisine are fondue and raclette. The difference between the two is the way the cheese is melted, and also the way it is eaten.
In the raclette, each diner has their grill to melt the cheese, which they will then pour over their plate of food. Instead the fondue is a shared cheese pot that is placed in the centre of the table where everyone can dip the fork or skewer. Which one do you prefer?
In the Italian Alps: Canederli with Speck
Italian gastronomy changes a lot depending on the region of the country where we are. While in the south the dishes are light, in the north we find much more caloric recipes. Not everything was going to be pasta and pizza!
This recipe is a classic in the mountain cuisine of the Italian Alps , specifically the Dolomites (did you know that the Dolomites are a paradise for skiers?).
The canederli, or bread gnocchi, we could say that they are like meatballs kneaded with stale bread softened with milk and egg. Speck, a typical ham also from the area, is added to the mix. With this mass, balls are made and boiled in broth. We recommend you prepare the stomach when you taste it!