The Loire captures the essence of "French Cookery" and is the region where you
should embark on a search for "French Cuisine" - this is the heartland with dishes that have become
national and worldwide favourites.
The gentle landscape, languid rivers, elegant architecture, pleasant summer climate gives rise to a
relaxed pleasant lifestyle embracing the riverbank picnic, cafe lunch, the long slow meal - all of the elements of the good-life.
Come and share our gourmand enjoyment!
About the Food of THE LOIRE
The region is the birthplace of the shredded potted meat, the rillettes, (a close cousin to pate) that is
now enjoyed all over France. In the Loire and in particular in tours you will find rillettes prepared with
not only boar but also duck, goose, rabbit and even fish such as tuna. Tarte Tatin, see recipe below,
with that winning combination of caramelised apples, sugar and pastry is a winner as is coq au vin, that
delightful blend of chicken and wine.
Food wise the Region is known for two things: prunes and mushrooms. The luscious prueaux de Tours come
from dried Damson plums from round the city of tours and are delightful on their own or in tarts. The
mushrooms are grown in disused underground limestone caves and are of a special quality.
Special cakes and pastries are also a feature and take time to enjoy the gateau de pithiviers, sweet
puff pastry filled with cream.
Out and about in the Loire
The below selection reflects wine tour days of local delights, picnics, restaurant meals and
lunches at home.
|Cheese, wine and Bread!
Sainte Maure de Touraine
Sainte Maure de Touraine is an appellation Orginale Controlee (AOC) goat's milk cheese from the Loire
that is creamy and mild, while the wine comes from the Anjou area that is renowned for its rose wines.
|Afternoon in the Sun|
Chinon Cabernet Franc
Take a romantic Loire chateau, a fine Chinon Cabernet Franc, an hors d'oeuvre
selection, and a beautiful day - what more would you want?
Wine, cheese and bread Again!
Pays Nantais Muscadet
A table under a leafy willow with
a crisp chilled Muscadet from the Pays Nantais, a Camembert cheese, salad and a baguette
|Wine, bread and Cheese Again!
Chinon vineyard picnic lunch
A picnic break between vineyards on the bank of the L'Indre looking at the town of Chinon with the
chateau rebuilding in the background
Potted meat, Bread & salad lunch
Rillettes (French for planks from the appearance when spread on bread) is a preparation of meat
similar to pâté. Originally made with pork, but now also from duck, goose and rabbit.
Coq au vin
Rooster in wine
A classic French fricassee (stew) of rooster cooked with wine, smoky bacon, mushrooms, onions
and optionally garlic. The older the rooster the better the flavour!
Tarte Tatin (Carmelised apple tart)
By acident or design, this 1888 Loire creation by the Tartin sisters, Caroline and Stephanie,
is now one of France's most popular dessert.
100 gms butter
150 gms icing sugar
1 kg apples- peeled, & quartered
1 sheet sweet short pastry
- Preheat oven to 180șC.
- Melt butter in high-sided skillet and sprinkle in icing sugar. Add apples and stir to combine.
- Cook for 20 minutes then turn up heat for 10 more minutes, or until the apples turn golden brown.
Don't let burn!
- Place apples in a buttered glass baking dish. Cut pastry to shape and place over the apples, tucking
the pastry down round the edge of the dish.
- Bake tart at 180 degrees for 20 minutes, remove for oven and allow to stand for 5 minutes. Release sides,
place serving plate over the baking dish and flip quickly.
Serve warm either plain or with cream or ice cream.
- Use the best apples available
(ideally Reine de Reinettes) but Granny Smith of Golden Delicious will do.
- The secret is to caramelise the apples in the butter and sugar - not burnt!
- Cut the pastry circle big enough to form the base and sides.