Paris - Gastronomic Delights


One hour away is 'The Garden of France’. The Loire Valley due to its mild climate and fertile soil produces fine produce that is transported to kitchens throughout Paris. The proximity to Paris made the Loire the playground of noblemen and women with more than 300 spectacular châteaux dotting the lush landscape where French royals paraded and partied.

The Loire Valley perfectly represents la douceur de vivre ('sweet way of life') with nice weather, tasty food, delicious wine, and friendly people. Cherished by the kings of the past and royal courts of France, the Loire region offers a pleasant pace of life, prosperity, and all the good things in life.

The Loire cuisine is rich in flavours and textures, drawing on the fresh ingredients that are grown in the region and passed on to Paris. A wide array of fruit and vegetables grown here include: white and green asparagus, lettuce, leeks, onions, garlic, truffles, radishes, artichokes, button mushrooms, cherries, strawberries, rasberries, blueberries, apples, pears, grapes and many more.

Paris food markets provide this beautiful fresh produce and the fine cuisine that follows at the many famous restaurants around Paris. Whether it be bought from a stall, cooked at home or served in a restaurant or bistro, Paris' flavoursome goodies are enough to tickle any visitor's taste buds! So get ready to experience some real French living !

Specialties of Paris Cuisine


A truffle is the fruiting body of a subterranean fungus, they are highly prized as food and are said to be worth there weight in gold.

Touraine is begining to enjoy an important place in the French market, with over 400 hectares of truffle farms and 170 truffle farmers.


Meat used to be the pride and joy of the medieval royalties. In Touraine, some of the traditional dishes include rillettes and rillons. Made from pig’s neck fried in fat, this cold confection is delicious when spread on a slice of fresh baguette. The locals also serve it with fouée, a regional bread cooked in a traditional wood-fired oven.

A shredded, textured pâté. You’ll mainly find pork rillettes, but also salmon or duck. You’ll be able to buy this in charcuteries for picnics.


Loire Valley cuisine has included freshwater fish caught locally since pre-Roman times. The dishes are often accompanied by a sauce that brings through the delicate flavour of the fish, such as beurre blanc, a butter sauce flavoured with shallots and vinegar. A few types of fish you’ll probably see on the menu include sandre (pike perch or zander), alose (shad), anguilles (eel, often stewed in red wine for Matelote d’Anguilles) brochet (pike) and brème: (bream).


Fossils found in the area reveal that goats lived in the Loire long before men, so it should come as no surprise that goat’s cheese is a staple of Loire Valley cuisine. A few of the area’s best include:

Selles sur Cher

This round cheese, dusted with ashes, is well known for its blue (sometimes dark) colour.

Crottin de Chavignol

A small disc of mild goat’s cheese that becomes a Crottin when older and drier. Younger Crottins may be creamy enough to spread or to heat and serve on a bed of salad greens, while older ones can be grated. This cheese was originally conceived to accompany Sancerre wine from the Loire Valley.


This creamy, ivory-white cheese of cylindrical shape and coated with bluish ashes brought fame—and AOC status—to the small town that produced it.

Pyramide de Valençay

This pyramid-shaped goat’s cheese, dusted with ashes and therefore called cendré, boasts a Label régional, a guarantee of authenticity not as strictly defined or regulated as AOC.


The nougat of Tours was created in the time of Leonardo da Vinci. This delicious treat has evolved since the 15th century, nowadays it is similar to an apricot marmalade tart with candied fruit and topped with almond macaron batter.

Poire Tapée

Another gastronomy speciality is the poire tapée (flattened pear). This dried pear is originally from Rivarennes, where it would be flattened with a special tool. The pear could then be eaten dried or rehydrated in a dish or wine.


A delicious food specialty of Paris from the Loire Valley - 60 percent of France’s strawberry production is grown right here in the Loire. This delightful sweet juicy and succulent berry has been gobbled up by Europeans the continent over. It has been a prized fruit of the courts of Kings and Queens gone by and was cultivated by the Romans and eaten by our Neolithic ancestors thousands of years ago.


The delicious raspberries from the Loire are grown mainly for the local fresh fruit market and for commercial processing into frozen fruit, jams, purée, juice, or as dried fruit used in a variety of yummy patisserie tarts and pies.

Who doesn’t love having sweet and juicy raspberries for an appetizing breakfast or between-meal snack? These fruity little powerhouses cultivated at our farms set up near your cities utilize the most advanced fruit cultivation technologies so that we can bring healthy, fresh-out-of-farms raspberries to your local stores without the need for long transportation or preservation practices to increase shelf-life. Coming in rich colors and a juicy appeal, the fresh and healthy raspberries from Anjou Fruits Rouges are a great source of fibers, vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Eat the freshly-picked sweet and scrumptious raspberries from our farms raw, or by blending them into smoothies, freezing them into ice lollies, or baking them into your favorite tarts and cakes!


Do not ignore the health benefits of blueberries.

Delicious, delightfully juicy, and savory, our freshly harvested blueberries are one of the most likable fruits worldwide. These bluish-purple berries are renowned for being low in calories but rich in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, and manganese. Not only do they protect you against bad cholesterol, but our antioxidant-rich blueberries also have anti-aging and anti-cancer characteristics. Eating them raw may only be one way of enjoying them, as several other recipes have made blueberries so popular, including blueberry muffins, blueberry cheesecake, or even your favorite blueberry crush.


Do not ignore the health benefits of blackberries also.

Packed with nutrients, The Loire's succulent blackberries are a treat for the taste buds. These deep inky coloured berries have a myriad of health benefits from a strengthened immune system to healthier heart function. Blackberries have also been show to enhance memory, tone skin, strengthen bone structure and even improve vision. These and many more benefits comes from the numerous vitamins (A, B1, B2, B3, B6, C, E & K) and minerals (calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and zinc) contained inside this deliciously dense berry. These juicy delights are also a great source of amino acids and fiber.


Like apples and cherries, pears do extremely well in the Loire Valley. The perfect climate for them here has resulted in many very old gnarled pear trees in farmyards and along country roadsides. These old, semi-wild pear trees have fruit that is very large and woody. They are not for eating fresh, and even cooked they are not always successful, so mostly now they become food for omnivorous wildlife such as martens and badgers.

Happily, we can all also grow more modern varieties in our orchards. I have the well known Williams, Doyenne de Comice and Beurre Hardy in my orchard, and my local organic commercial orchard grows them plus Conference and Président Héron amongst others. More surprisingly, I also inherited a Nashi (Asian pear) in my orchard, planted by the retired farmer who owned the parcel before me. In French they are called pomme-poires. And every year I am lucky enough to get a bag full of pears for free from the famous gardens at Villandry. Their carefully shaped pear trees on the corners of the potager garden are always overloaded and they have to pick some and give them away. They are a very good but hard to get variety called Louise Bonne.

The best known local pear delicacy, unique to the Touraine Loire Valley, is poires tapées, pressed dried pears, usually eaten as a condiment for game.


Limousin AOP apples are the only apples in France to be awarded Protected Designation of Origin status (the European equivalent of France’s AOC label). This apple keeps so well, that you can buy it throughout the year, from October to July. Equally good cooked, it can also be used for pastries, such as doughnuts, turnovers, charlottes and tarts, as well as compotes and jellies.


The weather conditions in the Loire region make is an excellent place for the growing of cêpes, or porcini mushrooms as they are more commonly known.

The Loire has one of France's tastiest wild mushrooms. They are found commonly growing wild and are excellent both fresh and dried. These mushrooms retain nearly all of their taste when dried, and are also incredibly flavoursome when reconstituted. For that reason you will find that cèpes are one of the wild mushrooms that most French chefs use all year round.

The markets throughout the Loire are a good place to pick up locally grown mushrooms after the harvest in autumn. You will find them used as an important ingredient in a lot of regional cooking.

NB. Whenever you go foraging for wild mushrooms do not cook and eat them until you have identified your collection. All French villages and towns have mushrooms experts, volunteers that are trained by the government. Pharmacists will have a list of the nearest mycologist, although pharmacists themselves are trained themselves to be able to identify mushrooms.

Cheese, please!

A haven for cheese lovers, the most popular type of cheese in the Loire is goat’s cheese, which comes in a variety of shapes, sizes and textures. Each one has its own distinct taste and can be paired perfectly with one of the local wines of the region. You might like to try Sainte Maure, a long log-shaped cheese, which goes well with a red Chinon wine, or Selles-sur-Cher from the neighbouring Blesois region, which requires a fresh, crisp wine such as a white Muscadet.

At the center of local gastronomy, goat cheese comes in five different AOC variations: crottin de Chavignol (a small, round, slightly bulging delight), Sainte-Maure de Touraine (a bûche famously tied up with a strand of hay), Selles-sur-Cher (rounds with a fine blue crust), and for the finish, two pyramids: Valençay, the top of which will have been sliced off by Talleyrand, and Pouligny-Saint-Pierre, which managed to keep its head. To this mix add Trèfle, a newcomer among chèvres, and cow’s milk cheeses such as cendré d’Olivet and Feuille de Dreux.

Born and “bread” – fouace or fouée

The Loire is the birthplace of writer François Rabelais and his most famous character, Gargantua – a giant with an enormous appetite and a craving for the local fouaces – little pockets or turnovers stuffed with many different fillings such as rillettes (a pork paté-style dish), melted butter or goat’s cheese. A staple of the local cuisine, this traditional bread can be found in regional restaurants and markets – one is plain and baked in a wood-fired oven, the other looks and tastes more like a brioche. It makes a perfect side dish or appetiser.

Something’s fishy

Freshwater fish is a popular part of the Loire Valley diet and has been caught by locals since pre-Roman times. Sandre (pikeperch) and brème (bream) are especially popular. These have a delicate flavour, which is complemented by a sauce that really brings this flavour out, such as beurre blanc. This sauce is made with butter, shallots and vinegar. You can expect mouth-watering food and wine, with meals included everywhere except Amboise where there’s a wonderful selection of restaurants for you to choose from.

Game on

The abundance of forests in the region creates a smorgasbord of meaty goodness, from duck, quail, pheasant and pigeon to rabbit, venison, wild boar and deer. The game is caught locally and prepared and served in a rich sauce, typically consisting of fresh mushrooms as the base ingredient and wine from the local vineyards, accompanied by juicy white asparagus.

Be sure to accompany your divine meals with one of the Loire’s wines – the vineyards here produce the largest variety of wines than any other wine region in the world and, in good years, they are amongst France’s greatest vintages.

The Loire Valleys close proximity to Paris provides the fabulous fresh produce that Parisian restaurants use to create their dining specialities.


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