We all love to talk about food and with Christmas only around the corner it seems to be the topic on everyone’s lips (pardon the pun).
When I’m skiing I’m always thinking about food and I’ll actually plan my day on the mountain around which mountain restaurants I fancy stopping at. I don’t think you can beat sitting next to the piste enjoying a beverage or two and trying some of the tasty local grub.
Every country has its own specialities and own take on mountain food. Some dishes are quick to eat and reasonable in price and some deserve to be enjoyed at a more leisurely pace.
We have put together a little overview of our favourites.
Italy – Pizza
Italy is renowned for fabulous food, but pizza has to be everyone’s favourite and with so many different toppings to choose from, everyone’s tastes gets catered for. My choice will always be the Quattro Stagioni. Translated simply as Four Seasons, it’s the best pizza to get a little bit of everything. The good news is food on the mountain in Italy won’t cost you much more then what you’d pay in resort. An average pizza on the hill will cost you around £9.
Austria – Tiroler Gröstl
This has to be one of my favourite dishes. Tiroler Gröstl is a simple, traditional dish of fried sliced potatoes, onion, speck (bacon bits), and herbs with a fried egg on top. It’s usually served up in the pan it was cooked in. It’s a perfect filler for a cold day on the slopes. The great thing about Austrian mountain restaurants is that prices are also very reasonable. A huge serving of Tiroler Gröstl will usually cost you around £7.50. Money well spent.
Switzerland – Fondue
If you are a cheese lover then look no further than the fondue. If you haven’t experienced this before you may be wondering why you have a vat of yellowey goo in front of you. Basically, you get a dish full of warm melted Raclette cheese on a small portable stove. You’re then given pieces of bread attached to long forks to dip into it. Simple, but extremely tasty and a great social dish to enjoy with a group of friends. Ski resorts in Switzerland have a reputation of being a bit pricier compared to other ski resorts in Europe, but a fondue will definitely be a bit more reasonable than going for something like a steak. Fondue usually has to be eaten with a minimum of two people and will cost around £20 per person.
France – Tartiflette
This is a dish which I, admittedly, haven’t tried but seems to always be the most popular mountain dish whenever the topic comes up. I’m guessing if you like Tiroler Gröstl, you’ll love this. Just looking at photos of it makes my mouth water. This mountain treat is a French style cheesy potato bake with bacon, shallots, garlic, cream and white wine. The creamy French Reblochlon cheese gives it its special taste. Restaurants on the mountain in France typically have a reputation of being quite expensive compared to resort, however this dish will cost you around £12. For a big, hearty meal this is good value in my book.
Bulgaria – Shashlik
Everybody loves a kebab and this is a very popular dish with our customers skiing in Bulgaria. However, this is a bit different to the doner meat you’ll get in takeaways in the UK. Choose from chicken, pork or beef or mix it up. Vegetarian options are also available, which consist of mixed grilled vegetables. All Shashliks are cooked over charcoal. Bulgaria is renowned for being very reasonable and the average cost for one Shashlik will set you back £3. At this price it has to be our best value dish on the mountain.
Finland – Reindeer
Yes, you did hear correctly, the sleigh pulling animal that we all go to Finland to visit is also a favourite delicacy eaten by skiers and boarders on the mountain. It’s not just popular with mountain restaurants, and if you’re lucky enough to spend some time in Finland you’ll find that you’ll be eating Reindeer pretty much every day. It comes in various dishes including burgers, fillets and liver served with bacon and will cost you around £20 to £30. If you are tempted, reindeer meat is very similar to venison and extremely tasty.
Slovenia – Goulash and dumplings
A perfect winter warmer, the classic Goulash and dumplings dish is perfect comfort food on a cold winter’s day on the mountain. Prices for food in Slovenia are pretty much the same in mountain restaurants as in the resort itself and are very reasonable. A bowl of Goulash stew will set you back roughly £4.50. An interesting fact about Slovenia is that no slopes have mountain restaurants, but the restaurants at the bottom of the slope are worth the extra journey.
Canada – Poutine
Up until very recently Poutine is a dish that I had never heard of. When putting this together our Canada experts wouldn’t shut up about it – and for good reason. It’s a classic Canadian dish made up of French fries covered in gravy and topped with cheese curds. Costing around £6, it’s a very cheap way of filling up on the mountain, at the same time as being extremely tasty – a must, when skiing in Canada.
Norway – Smoked salmon
Instead of stopping for lunch, how about brunch on the mountain instead? Fish, in general, is available in huge abundance in Norway with smoked salmon being a big favourite and also a major export. Eat it plain, with dill, with mustard sauce or, my favourite, with scrambled eggs. If you are not a fan of smoked salmon, Norway is very internationally influenced and you will also find pizzas, burgers and even fondue on the mountain. Prices are a little more expensive here and will range from £14 to £30 for a dish on the mountain.
USA – Rack of ribs
An absolute favourite in the States has to be rack of ribs and it’s no surprise that it’s also a favourite up the mountain. It’s a great, hearty dish to share with your friends or have to yourself. The average price is around £9 per portion, so a great value lunch too. Buffalo burgers, burritos and meatball subs are also very popular on the slopes in the States as well as a choice of cocktails such as Bloody Marys and Margaritas to wash it down with. Hungry yet? I know I am.
To be honest I think it’s actually impossible to choose which dish is my favourite. At least you know that whichever country you choose for your ski holiday this season, you will be assured to have some fantastic foods and delicacies to try.