Not everyone always wants to cook for themselves when it comes to eating in Morzine, especially after a long day skiing or hiking. Visiting one of the local restaurants takes all the work out meal times and also gives people the chance to try some of the famous Savoyard cuisine.
There are a number of different types of restaurants in Morzine. As a tourist town it is inevitable that there would be a high number of restaurants, as the weekly influx of tourists mean that there are always new customers wishing to eat out, as well as the locals who return to their favourites again and again.
There are both restaurants and takeaways in Morzine. The takeaways offer typical takeaway food - pizzas, curries, burgers and wraps. These can be a good option for those on a budget or for those with children who might not want to have to spend the evening sitting in a restaurant. They are also a good option for those who have indulged in some apres ski and want something tasty, quick and filling.
The main restaurants in town all have traditional Savoyard food as their staples. These include Fondue, the famous melted cheese and bread dish, Raclette, which includes melted cheese, potatoes and charcuterie meats and Tartiflette, which is made from Reblochon cheese, potatoes, onions and bacon. Another traditional favourite, that doesnít involve cheese, is the pierrade, which involves cooking your meat on hot stones.
Different restaurants have different ambience. Some of them opt for the traditional Savoyard rustic style, with dark wood and decorations reflecting the history of the area and the cuisine, whilst other are lighter and more modern looking. Some restaurants even offer the option of eating at the chefís table, where you can see your food being prepared.
The restaurants also usually serve a mix of other foods, such as child friendly Italian food (spaghetti Bolognese, Lasagne, pizza, etc), as well as steak, ribs and fish dishes.
A couple of places in town specialise in Vegetarian and Vegan meals and are good options for those with allergies or dietary requirements. Almost everywhere will offer some form of vegetarian or vegan food however.
There are a couple of restaurants specialising in burgers for people who want a sit down meal without having to go for a restaurant meal.
There really is something for all tastes in Morzine, from the traditional to the modern, local specialities and world cuisine. Some visitors want to try the local food whilst others might want to try each restaurant's specific specialities. Others might want convenience or take away to keep their children happy or to save time. Below are some of the different options in Morzine.
Morzine is in the heart of the Haute Savoie region and is grounded in the traditions and history of the area. Throughout the history of the Haute Savoie the local food has been a key part of the culture of the region. The local food is connected to the environment. Many of the foods that became popular could be stored and kept over the long, cold winters. As people began to settle in the area they began to raise cattle, which provided the basis for the cheese centric food of the area.
A few of the local cheeses include:
Tomme de Savoie: Tomme De Savoie dates back to ancient times and is a semi firm, mild cheese with a low fat content.
Raclette: Another semi firm cheese, Raclette usually comes in large wheels of about six kilos. Mentions of the cheese date back to 1291, when it was popular with peasants in the Valais and Savoie regions. They would take it into the mountains with them when they were moving cows in the mountains and melt the cheese around the fire before scraping it on to their bread. This was the forerunner of the modern Raclette dish.
Reblochon: Reblochon is a soft, unpasteurised cheese that originated in the Aravis massif. The name comes from the old French word Reblocher or "To pinch the udder again". This is due to the fact that in the fourteenth century the landowners would tax the farmers based on the amount of milk their herds produced. The farmers would return after the yield had been weighed and milk the cows again. The farmers would use the much creamier milk to make their own cheeses.
Abondance: The Abondance cheese is a semi hard cheese made exclusively in the Abondance valley close to Morzine. The earliest mention of the cheese is in the fourteenth century when the local monks delivered cheese to the papal conclave at Avignon.
The cheesy delights of the Savoie include:
Fondue: Although often considered a Swiss dish it has also been popular for many years in the French Savoie regions. It involves melting cheese and dipping bread into the cheese, creating a perfect dish to warm diners up on cold winter nights!
Tartiflette: Tartiflette is made from the Reblochon cheese. It consists of onions, bacon pieces and sliced potatoes with the cheese melted on it in the oven. It is usually served with a side salad.
Raclette: Raclette involves melting the cheese of the same name and is usually served with potatoes, cured meat and salad. It is usually served as either a half round of cheese or slices.
Other local speciality foods include meats: The Diot De Savoie pork sausages as well as cured meats - hams and saucissons, with the saucissons coming in many different varieties and flavours. As with the cheese the cured meats reflect the need for foods that could be stored over winter. Other foods that could be stored included the jams and preserves made out of local fruits and honey.
A perfect accompaniment for a meal of local specialities is the local Savoie wines followed by one of a digestif of one of the local liqueurs. These included Chartreuse, made by Carthusian monks since 1737 from a mix of one hundred and thirty herbs and plants, Genepi, made from Alpine plants known as Wormwood, Poire, made from locally grown pears and Marc De Savoie, a brandy made from the remains of the grapes used for wine making.
Another popular dish is Pierrade, where diners cook their meat on a hot stone at the table. People often associate it with winter rather than specifically the Savoie region. Pierrade dates back to prehistory.
Over the years Italian cuisine has become increasingly popular. It is a great choice for dining on or off the mountain as it is hot and filling, as well as containing plenty of carbohydrates to keep people going during a day of skiing or refuel after a busy day. The most popular Italian dishes include:
Pizza: A very popular dish with plenty of different varieties, Pizza is a traditional flatbread, first recorded in the tenth century, usually topped with tomatoes, cheese and a selection of meats or vegetables. The modern Pizza was invented in Naples and has spread worldwide. In many restaurants in the Alps Italian and Savoie dining traditions combine in the Tartiflette Pizza, topped with bacon pieces, sliced potato and Reblochon cheese.
Spaghetti Bolognese: Originating from near Bologna, the town which gives its name to the dish, Spaghetti Bolognese is a dish of Spaghetti, tomatoes and minced beef. Spaghetti and meatballs is a similar dish, where the mince has been made into meatballs.
Carbonara: Carbonara is a dish made from pasta, bacon, hard cheese and egg. Cream is also often added to the recipe.
Lasagne: Lasagne is made from flat sheets of pasta, Bechamel sauce and a Bolognese style mix, layered and topped with cheese. There are also vegetarian varieties of the dish.
Asian street food
Asian food on the whole, is much more healthy than Western cuisine. With the lack of dairy, fat, sugar and additives, along with a focus on zingy flavour and fresh ingredients. The most popular dishes include:
Pad Thai: Pad Thai is a popular street food dish in Thailand and is available on every Thai restaurant menu. It consists of stir-fried rice noodles with eggs, vegetables and tofu in a sauce of tamarind, fish, dried shrimp, garlic, red chilli pepper and sugar. Some of the ingredients are provided on the side as condiments, including red chilli pepper, lime wedges and peanuts.
Satay: Satay (sate in Bahasa Indonesia) is a dish similar to kebabs in that it is made of cubes of skewered meat that is grilled and eaten with a peanut sauce dip.
Ramen: Soybean paste (miso) is used to flavour ramen soup, creating a dense, brown soup with a complex flavour. The style originated in Hokkaido where there are long cold winters and therefore the need for a heartier type of ramen soup, but now you can find it pretty much anywhere in Japan.
As well as these specialties from different regions of the world many of the restaurants also offer full menus of dishes providing plenty of options. These include different types of steaks, roast chicken, duck breast, confit duck legs, ribs and a selection of child specific meals such as burgers and chicken nuggets with chips.
Burgers and chicken are also available at the takeaway restaurants in town, with plenty of different types of burgers as well as friend chicken and chicken nuggets. Paninis, kebabs and pad Thai dishes are also available to take away.
Some places in town also offer traditional British Sunday roast dinners and traditional Christmas dinners.
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