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.
Rumor has it the quintessence of the French cuisine was developed in the royal kitchens of the Chateaux de la Loire. Along your way in the Loire Valley, you will inevitably set eyes on the many delicious gourmet treats of the Loire region, nicely prepared and presented.
Goat cheese is a typical confection of the region, and you will find it in all shapes and sizes. The most famous type is the long, cylindrical St Maure, pierced through the center with a straw. The legend says that you always have to start cutting St Maure goat cheese from the wider side or the goat will not produce any more milk.
Rillettes and Rillons
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.
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.
Another speciality of the Loire Valley gastronomy 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.
Wine and Cheese
Last but not least, the Loire Valley is famed for its delicious wine and cheese. A wide range of wines can be found in the Val de Loire - one to suit every taste. Renowned for their light taste, the Loire Valley wines go perfectly with the regional culinary specialties such as the Sainte Maure goat cheese and flattened pears.
We will offer you a wine and cheese tasting experience, as part of your personalized Loire Valley tour, depending on your preferences. We will also be happy to share with you our special favorite restaurants when you'll find authentic and succulent regional cuisine. This will be a journey that your tastebuds will never forget! The Loire Valley gastronomy is an important feature of our Loire Valley self-drive itineraries.