The culinary specialities of the Loire Valley

Inspiration

Atlantic Loire ValleyLoire Valley

T-Martrou CRT Centre Val de Loire
© T-Martrou CRT Centre Val de Loire

Reading time: 0 minPublished on 27 February 2024

In France, every region is different and offers a unique cuisine. Today, we are eager to introduce you to some delicious cuisine. Are you ready to taste the specialities of the Loire Valley?

Tarte Tatin

C. Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire
© C. Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire

This famous apple tart, turned upside down just before serving, originated in the Loire Valley, in the Sologne region. Its soft, caramelised apples are a delight.

Pears or apples cooked the old-fashioned way

C. Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire
© C. Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire

First dehydrated in an oven, they are then flattened with a mallet. Discover this ancestral technique at the Troglo des pommes tapées, in Turquant or Rivarennes, the capital of the poire tapée.

Montargis pralines

C. Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire
© C. Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire

These roasted almonds coated in vanilla-flavoured caramel are as crunchy as you could wish for. Only Mazet, in Montargis, makes them.

Guérande salt

The white gold of the Loire Valley is harvested using traditional methods in the Guérande salt marshes. To buy it, visit Terre de sel and the Maison des Paludiers.

The fish of the Loire

A. Lamoureux
© A. Lamoureux

The Royal River is teeming with good freshwater fish. Pike-perch, in particular, is THE royal fish. Delicious with a beurre blanc sauce, a speciality of the Nantes region. Others, such as pike, are made into terrines (available at Comptoir de Loire, near Blois castle).

Cheeses

M. Perreau CRT Centre Val de Loire
© M. Perreau CRT Centre Val de Loire

Goat's cheeses are the real stars, including Sainte-Maure-de-Touraine (a log with a straw through it), Selles-sur-Cher (shaped like a puck) and Valençay (a small pyramid with a cut-off top, to be enjoyed with the wine of the same name). In Nantes, we have a soft spot for Curé Nantais, made from raw cow's milk...

Mushrooms

D. Drouet CRT Centre Val de Loire
© D. Drouet CRT Centre Val de Loire

50% of "button mushrooms" are produced in the Saumur region! They are grown in mushroom cellars, housed in very old troglodytic structures (the Saut du Loups mushroom cellar in Montsoreau dates back to the 15th century) that are open to the public.

Touraine rillons and Tours rillettes

T. Martrou CRT Centre Val de Loire
© T. Martrou CRT Centre Val de Loire

These two charcuterie products are made from pork. Rillettes are made by cooking pork for a long time, and are served on bread. Rillons (cubes of confit pork belly) are delicious as a main course, with lentils and potatoes, or in a salad.

Vinegar and Orléans mustard

C.Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire
© C.Lazi CRT Centre Val de Loire

Vinegar originated as a result of an accident in the Middle Ages: certain wines transported by boat arrived "pitted". By 1394, vinegar makers in Orléans were exporting their products as far afield as India. Today, only one remains: Martin-Pouret, since 1797. It also makes the famous Orléans mustard.

Wines

T. Martrou CRT Centre Val de Loire
© T. Martrou CRT Centre Val de Loire

White, red, sparkling... the vineyards of the Loire Valley are a delight for wine lovers. At the Caves de la Loire in Brissac, you can discover a fine selection of Loire wines, from Pays Nantais to Sancerre. 140 winegrowers in all! An even more original way to learn about oenology is to take part in an escape game. This is what winegrowers Pierre and Bertrand Couly are offering near the Royal Fortress of Chinon.

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