Food is always important to the culture of any place, and this is especially true in the Alps. The Alpine traditions of food stretch back hundreds of years, and are in some ways dictated by the land around. The Alpine meadows are perfect for cattle to graze in summer in order to produce the cheeses that the area is famous for. The cold winters meant that food would have to last through the winter - in years gone by the mountain passes might have been impassable and the high Alpine villages could be cut off from the outside world.

Cheese

Cheese is the type of food that most people immediately associate with the Alps. The plateau on which Avoriaz is built used to be used as prime summer grazing land before the cattle would be brought down to the valley in autumn as the weather started to get colder. The traditional cheeses from the area include Tomme De Savoie, a low fat semi hard round cheese, Abondance which is a semi hard cheese made very close to Avoriaz in the Abondance valley. It was traditionally made by monks from the local monastery in the valley and dates back hundreds of years. Reblochon is another traditional cheese from the area. Most people know Reblochon from Tartiflette, the local meal made from sliced potatoes, diced onions, bacon pieces and generous quantities of melted Reblochon. Other meals associated with the Savoie Alps and involving the local cheeses are fondue, a mix of melted cheeses served with bread pieces, and Raclette, a meal involving melted Raclette cheese served with salad, boiled potatoes and local meats - ham and saucisson.

Meat

The local meats are traditionally cured so that they will keep through winter. Jambon de Savoie is one of the most well known of all French hams. There are also plenty of local saucisson, traditional cured pork sausages, often flavoured with pepper, cheese and liqueurs.

Alcohol

The most well known of the local liqueurs include Genepi, a sweet liqueur flavoured with wormwood - which places it in the same family of drinks as Absinthe. The grass that is used to flavour it only grows above certain altitudes, which means it is exclusively an Alpine drink. Chartreuse is a green liqueur (the liqueur also lends its name to a type of green that matches the drink) and has been made by Carthusian monks since 1737. It contains a mix of 130 herbs, plants and flowers.