La table des fées, Chateau du Rivau © Chateau du Rivau
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, a soft cheese made of goat's milk with a very distinct 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.
Plateau de fromages du Val de Loire © Stevens Fremont, ADT Touraine Interloire
Wine choices from the Loire Valley are varied, from the fruity reds of Chinon, Bourgueil, Touraine, Valencay to the dry whites of Cheverny, Sancerre and sparkling Vouvray.
Vignoble de St Nicolas du Bourgueil © Stevens Fremont, ADT Touraine Interloire
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. Hunting season brings a smorgasbord of tasty game to dining rooms across the region, including deer, boar, duck, pheasant and quail.
Panier de legumes © Stevens Fremont, ADT Touraine Interloire
Other food specialities include terrines from Tours, white asparagus, tasty mushrooms, local poulet en barbouille (chicken cooked in brandy with a sauce made from blood, cream, yolk and chopped liver) and carpe au vin rouge (red wine carp).
Rillettes de Tours
And don't forget the regional delight – Tarte Tatin – a caramelized apple tart cooked upside down, as well as gâteau pithiviers – almond cream in a buttered puff pastry
The many weekly markets found throughout the region are well worth visiting. Throughout the year, theme markets are also held, such as the truffle markets in Marigny-Marmande, or the saffron market in Preuilly-sur-Claise. Why not visit one of them during your free time on one of our Loire Valley tours in September 2018?
Bourgueil market © David Darrault, ADT Touraine
Sample some of these specialities on one of our September 2018 Loire Valley tours:
Grandeur of the Loire with Brittany & Normandy (Sep 19 – Oct 2, 2018): https://www.sticanada.com/grandeur-of-the-loire
Bordeaux and the Grandeur of the Loire (Sep 19–28, 2018):
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