Cuisine of the Rhone-Alpes
No region in France is without a gastronomic identity of its own, and the Rhône-Alpes is no different. Taking inspiration from history and the surrounding areas, the cuisine of the Rhône-Alpes is distinctive and rich in local produce. Whether dining in the cities of Lyon or Grenoble, or sitting in an Alpine village café, holidaymakers can enjoy first class fare.
With a reputation for being a leading exponent of French dining, Lyon provides a memorable experience for those looking to enjoy authentic French cuisine. Traditional dining takes place at bouchons – establishments that derive their look and feel from 17th and 18th century inns that catered to silk workers in the region. To complement the traditional décor, the 20 officially certified bouchons in Lyon provide customary cuisine, with salami (known as rosette), sausage, duck pate, roast pork, and quenelles among the most popular choices on the menu.
The city also has a reputation for serving morning snacks known as machons. Often accompanied by Beaujolais, these snacks are made with local meat produce and provide a delicious start to any day in the Rhône-Alpes.
Another speciality of the Rhône-Alpes comes from the Alpine region of Savoy. Here, the quality dairy produce includes a number of cheese dishes and delicacies such as cheese fondue and raclette, which originate in the area. A semi-firm cheese made with cow’s milk, raclette offers a smooth, creamy texture which makes it ideal for covering such accompaniments as potatoes, meats and pickles.
Equally as popular is the tartiflette potato gratin dish. Made from rich reblochon cheese and smokey bacon, this is a simple yet satisfying meal that maintains great popularity for visitors to the nearby Alpine ski resorts.
The wine industry of the Rhône-Alpes may well be dominated by the production of Côtes du Rhône, but the region offers more for the connoisseur and the layman alike. Divided into northern and southern wine regions, with the south dominant in terms of production levels, the wines are packed with rich flavours.
From the wines of Châteauneuf du Pape with their velvety texture to Gigondas and Hermitage, the international acclaim afforded to the main labels of the Rhône-Alpes is well deserved. Although the reds claim the most widespread renown, the whites are not to be overlooked. Condrieu, in particular, is an exquisite wine with fresh stone fruit and floral notes.