A large part of the culture of the area relates to the food of the area and those foods that are unique to the mountain culture.
Reblochon is a local cheese best known as the cheese that is used to make Tartiflette. It literally translates as +AJM-To pinch a cow+AJI-s udder again+AJQ-, due to the fact that farmers would not fully milk their cows in order to hold some milk back for later. In the 14th century landowners would tax the farmers depending on what their daily yield from milking was. Therefore the farmers would not fully milk the cows until after the yield had been measured. The second milking would be much richer than the first. Reblochon is a creamy raw cow+AJI-s milk cheese with a nutty taste.
Tomme de Savoie is a mild, semi firm cheese. It is made with the milk that is left over after the cream has been used to make butter and richer cheeses. It usually comes in discs and it dates back to ancient times.
Abondance is a semi hard raw milk cheese made in the Abondance area of the Portes Du Soleil. The area has been known for cheese making since the 14th century when a local monastery supplied cheese to the papal enclave in Avignon.
A large amount of the local speciality dishes include the local cheeses. Raclette involves melting some of the local raclette cheese and serving with potatoes, local meats and gherkins. Fondue is perhaps the most well known mountain meal. It involves melting a mixture of local cheeses along with some liqueur and other ingredients in a pan and dipping bread into it on long forks. Tartiflette uses the local reblochon cheese, melting it on sliced potatoes, bacon pieces and onions in the oven. Pierrade involves cooking meat at your table, traditionally on hot rocks. For dessert, a traditional Savoyard dessert would be Tartes Aux Myrtilles, or bilberry tart.
Genepi is one of the famous alpine drinks. It is made by adding some of the Alpine Wormwood (Artemisia Genepi) to alcohol to provide the unique sweet taste. The plants used are native to the Alps and the Pyrenees.
Chartreuse is another alpine liqueur. It has been made by Carthusian monks since 1737 and has a distinctive green colour. The instructions to make it were set down in a manuscript by Francois Annibal d+AJI-Estrees in 1605. It is composed of distilled alcohol flavoured with 130 herbs, plants and flowers. It is named after the monastery where it is made. The exact recipe is a secret and is only ever known by two monks at any one time.
Due to the way the seasons change in the area it has been important throughout history to cure meats in order to preserve them throughout hard winters. This has risen to speciality local hams and saucissons (cured sausages)