After Carinthia in Austria, the Upper Tanaro Valley and the Biella mountains in northern Italy, Grand Entremont and Fully in Switzerland, the latest region to join Slow Food Travel is Dents du Midi, completing the Val d’Illiez’s participation in this international project.
Slow Food Travel offers a new model for tourism, based on meetings and exchanges with farmers, cheesemakers, herders, butchers, bakers and winegrowers. Together with the chefs who use their products, they become the narrators of their own areas and unique guides to the local traditions that they are helping to preserve.
Project coordinator Michele Rumiz explains: “Behind every region lie stories, gastronomic traditions, typical flavors and artisanal practices, passed down through the generations by women and men who over the centuries have built up identities and rich cultures. Each gastronomic tradition can become a unique tourism experience and an integral part of a trip. But it’s not always easy to access the authenticity of local cultures. Each Slow Food Travel itinerary makes it possible to discover products, places and landscapes and come into direct contact with producers, cooks and hospitality professionals who are committed to promoting this cultural heritage.”
Seven steep Alpine peaks make up the Dents du Midi, overlooking the verdant Val d’Illiez and its lush pastures. Six villages dot this land, which is steeped in a cheesemaking tradition still alive and well today. Straddling the border between France (Haute-Savoie) and Switzerland, the Portes du Soleil offers a vast area for leisure and relaxation throughout the seasons, where you can enjoy delightful hikes as well as magnificent cycling and skiing routes.
The region’s most famous typical product is Salée du Val d’Illiez, a tart made with a yeasted pastry crust filled with sablé, a mixture of butter, sugar, flour and cinnamon to which can be added apples, pears, rhubarb or white wine. This Ark of Taste product is offered at breakfast as part of Slow Food Travel itineraries.
The Dents du Midi also has many other typical products and events to offer as part of the summer Slow Food Travel itinerary. Alpine pasture tours on electric bikes and Trail Gourmand expeditions bring visitors around the Val d’Illiez to meet the producers and food artisans who are safeguarding the rich local gastronomic heritage. To encourage the public’s involvement, a certificate of participation in From’Quiz de la Vallée will be given to everyone at the end of every activity.
Slow Food Travel is a project that networks together people working within the tourism and food production sector, making it possible for them to exchange experiences on promoting products and awareness-raising and communication tools. Food producers, farmers, artisans, cooks, restaurant owners, hotels and farms are all involved, alongside institutions and civil society organizations such as tourism offices, eco-museums, Alpine guides and cultural associations.