As the "garden of France", the Loire Valley produces an abundance of fruit and vegetables as well as an assortment of produce, game, and fish.
For those inclinded, hunting season brings a smorgasbord of tasty game to dining rooms across the Loire Valley, including deer, boar, duck, pheasant and quail.
Many of Paris' best restaurants get their fresh produce from the Loire Valley.
And oh yes, don't forget the regional delight - "Tarte Tatin", a caramelized apple tart cooked upside down.
Cheese: Châteaux are not the only thing that the Loire Valley takes very seriously. Cheese making in the Loire Valley is serious business and an important part of the region's gastronomic identity. Among the best cheeses from the Loire is Sainte Maure du Touraine, from the Tourraine region. It is a soft cheese made of goat's milk and has a very distinct and flavorful taste. Unlike most goat cheeses which are soft and spreadable, Saint Maure is crumbly, hard and tangy due to its unique aging process. Saint Maure cheese is characterized by its log shape and its moldy ash coating.
Pouligny St. Pierre is another distinct cheese from the Loire Valley. It is a cone shaped goat cheese that has a sour yet nutty flavor. This cheese is perfect for spreading on some fresh French bread.
Crottin de Chavignol is perhaps the region's most popular goat cheese. This varietal is shaped like a small cylinder and comes from the small town of Chevignol. Whether you spread it on a roll or bake it (as a topping for vegetables or salads), this cheese has a lovely nutty and mild taste.
Wine and Spirts: Wine from the Loire Valley is too often underestimated. but it's a big part of tourism to the region. Wine choices are varied, from the fruity reds of Chinon, Bourgueil, Touraine, Valencay to the the dry whites of Cheverny, Sancerre, and sparkling Vouvray.
More Information: www.loirevalleywine.com
Other food specialties of the Loire Valley which shouldn't be missed: Rich and varied charcuterie, including terrines from Tours, local Poulet en barbouille and Carpe au vin rouge; white asparagus and tasty mushrooms. Sweets include gateau pithiviers (almond cream in a buttered puff pastry) and the forementioned "Tarte Tatin".
Join us for a great excursion from Paris to the Loire Valley!
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