Food and gastronomy
Inventiveness, tradition, audacity, and know-how : mix well to obtain an excellent definition of the cuisine of Centre, from the Loire Valley to Berry, passing through Beauce and Sologne on the way.
At the center of local gastronomy, goat cheese comes in five different AOC variations followed by an exceptional choice of wines whose diversity and authenticity really shine. All are quality wines, born of know-how and a long viticultural tradition, such as Sauvignon, Cabernet, or pinot noir.
Deer and boar are commonly available during the hunting season, while fruit and vegetable make their way into the recipes of local diners.
The famous Tarte Tatin, which originated in Sologne in the 1880s, is made with caramelised apples and now one of France’s most widely recognised desserts.
Upside-down apple pie : La Tarte Tatin
Tarte Tatin, A Confused Apple Pie. The upside-down apple tart is quintessentially french, but the tiny village of Lamotte Beuvron claims to his invention, where the Tatin sisters pulled it from theur oven. While racing to get through a busy lunch service Stéphanie threw a pan of apple, suger and butter in the oven, thinking there was the pastry on the bottom. Rather than admit a mistake, the sisters flipped over their tart, added a pastry lid and putted it back to the oven.
That's the official story, versus the legend which tells that an apple tarte was upturned on the floor by mistake...
Regional goat cheeses - A haven for cheese lovers
When you visit the Loire Valley, France, do take the time to enjoy the region’s famous cheeses.
There are so many cheeses in France that have the protected AOC status – and five of them, all goat cheeses, are in the Loire Valley, which go quite well with local wines.
Crottin de Chavignol, Valençay, Selles sur Cher, Pouligny St Pierre or Ste Maure de Touraine, all with a tradition dating back thousands of years, this is an unparalleled mecca for goaty delights. Nearly all famous goat cheeses in our country find their influences in the Loire Valley.
Regional wines : Loire Valley is home to over 4000 wineries
The Loire Valley is France's most diverse wine region, producing exemplary wines and containing several distinct wine regions, each with its own characteristic grapes, appellations and styles. Recognized as a region of quality, today 69 AOP’s make up 75% of the wine production.
Touraine is called the “Garden of France.” Wine of the region include many famous appellations, Vouvray, made from Chenin Blanc, Bourgueil made from Cabernet Franc. The Touraine appellation also includes excellent examples of Sauvignon Blanc, Gamay and Côt that provide excellent quality with and competitive pricing.
Asparagus and strawberries
The local asparagus, grown in the neighboring region of sandy soil, small lakes, and pine and birch forests that is called La Sologne, are of the white variety. In fact, the white and green asparagus varieties are really the same plant. It's just the way they are grown than differentiates them.
The other plant that grows well in the sandy soil of the Sologne and in the sandy bottom land along the Loire and Cher rivers is the strawberry. The season runs from April through June. The many varieties of strawberries grown in the Loire Valley are widely known by the finest gourmets. The local microclimate serves the fruit well, rendering it particulary sweet.
A star on the summer market stands is the Mara des Bois, a small, juicy variety of strawberry with a beautiful red colour. Very tasty!
Game and wild mushrooms
With so many forests in the Loire Valley, the region's restaurants are strong on game. Autumn is the season not just for wild game, notably venison and wild boar, but also wild mushrooms
Meat lovers will not be disappointed during a stay in Loire, with mouthwatering game being a popular menu choice throughout the region. Enjoy a little bit of everything, from pheasant, duck, quail, and pigeon to rabbit, venison, and even wild boar or deer. The game in Loire is prepared and served in a variety of rich sauces that are typically derived from fresh mushrooms.
The forests of the Sologne provided wild game for peasants' pots and the nobility's grand tables. Venison and rabbit (often served with wild forest mushrooms), pigeon and wild boar still feature locally.
Regional sweets and delicacies
Honey of Sologne has a smooth texture with a strong taste of resins with a smoky after taste. This is mostly the chestnut source coming through, which is a very dominant flavor. It isn't a complex honey.
The Chocolate factory Vauché in Bracieux invites you to discover the chocolate world. In a workshop you will learn about the several stages of the transformation.
In the heart of Berry, the Mercier chocolate factory is a reference for his creations and innovations.
The Sablé de Nançay a shortbread biscuit was created after an error in following a recipe are Today still made in a traditional way, same as the Biscuiterie de Chambord which was founded over 30 years ago and his biscuits are still made in a traditional way using high quality product.