The well-known Tartiflette is a mouth-watering potato gratin dish from Savoy, the montainous area of Rhône-Alpes. This Savoie's wintry speciality accounts for the French au gratin recipes, competing with the traditional gratin dauphinois from the former Dauphiné region. Part of the French gastronomy, the Rhône-Alpes-style tartiflette is based on au gratin potatoes and reblochon cheese. It is very common in French mountain restaurants - just perfect for a snowy day or after a few hours skiing!
The Rhône-Alpes tartiflette is mainly made out with medium-sized potatoes, rich reblochon cheese and smoky bacon. Famous for being an easy-to-prepare and very nutritious recipe, this French au gratin dish has been very popular in ski resorts of the Savoie area since it was created. Besides, we must admit that the tartiflette - despite its "traditional" looking - was only cooked for the first time in the 1980s!
This Savoy speciality in fact originates from the Aravis valley, the heaven of the rich French reblochon cheese made from cow's milk. The reblochon trade association wanted to increase sales of their cheese by promoting the tartiflette, whose name may have been inspired by the Piedmontese word for potato "tartiflâ". The au gratin potatoes and cheese recipe rapidly was a great success in Rhône-Alpes - and even throughout France!
Despite the multitude of recipes that exist now, the typical Tartiflette only includes medium-sized red potatoes, white onions, smoked streaky bacon, garlic, sea salt and black pepper, and finally, the renowned reblochon cheese. Baked for about an hour, this French potato gratin is topped by an appetizing crunchy golden crust - a real pleasure for both eyes and palate!
Provided the Tartiflette nutritive value, this wintry dish is usually complemented with a simple, nicely dressed green salad and a glass of crisp French white wine.
Top Tip! For those who would like to cook this traditional French dish, a ripe reblochon is highly recommended; the best option being to buy the cheese a few days in advance and let it reach maturity out of the fridge.
Don't forget the food-loving Rhône-Alpes region has more to offer than au gratin recipes! To discover other eastern cultural treasures, you can visit our complete regional guide. The Wine and Gastronomy sections will definitely stimulate your senses!