Gastronomy

Go on a gourmet holiday in Pays de la Loire and discover the many delicious specialities this beautiful region has to offer.

First to come to mind are the salt marshes of Guérande. New recipes combining coarse salt, fine salt or Fleur de Sel with all sorts of different spices have brought a breath of fresh air to the art of seasoning food.

Seafood fans will find plenty to tempt their taste buds on the Pays de la Loire’s Atlantic coast, including Aiguillon mussels, Vendée Atlantique oysters, anchovies, shrimps and prawns, clams, sea bass and turbot. Freshwater fish from the river Loire and its tributaries are often served with a simple beurre blanc sauce, made with butter, wine and shallots.

No particular style of cooking is associated with the Pays de la Loire region, whose cuisine is defined rather by the quality of its regional produce. Its flagship products are: button mushrooms, new potatoes from Noirmoutier, and “fleur de sel”, harvested from the very top layer of sea-salt crystals.

Its specialities include Vendée oven-baked loaves, savoury pork preparations like Rillauds d’Anjou and Rillettes de Sarthe, and sweeter treats such as Berlingots Nantais, Petit-Beurre biscuits from Nantes, Petit Sablé biscuits from Sablé-sur-Sarthe and Brioche Vendéenne.

Of course, the Pays de la Loire region also boasts an excellent selection of AOC wines, many of which are aged in limestone cellars on the banks of the river Loire. A variety of other drinks and liqueurs are also produced in the region, including Mayenne cider and Cointreau, the famous liqueur that has been produced near Angers since 1849.

Find out more about Muscadet

This dry white wine, which was awarded the AOC label in 1937, is produced mainly in the Loire-Atlantique region to the south of Nantes, as well as in a few areas of Maine-et-Loire and Vendée. It only includes Melon de Bourgogne grapes from the Loire valley vineyards. The Muscadet vineyards cover approximately 32,000 acres and there are several different appellations. This dry white wine has both floral and fruity aromas and is sometimes lees-aged, which gives it a slight sparkle. It is a wine that goes particularly well with seafood.

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