French Gastronomy per Regions 4/6 : The Centre

Part four of our culinary “Tour de France”

The Center of France is an interesting area, it’s very rural and mountainous and is probably the most authentic cuisine as it’s far away from any neighbouring countries, and suffered little from invasions. Second smallest region with the North it spread over nearly 600kms from the North to the South starting from the Loire Valley ending in the Cantal region.

The ingredients are very earthy and ancient (potatoes, cabbage, carrots, nips) and lots of meat, many stews as the region usually had long winters.

Local ingredients in cuisine

  • Lentil
  • Game meats (venison, boar…) 
  • Limousin and Aubrac breeds of beef
  • Potatoes, cabbage, carrots and nips
  • Cheeses (blue cheese, tomme cheese and goat cheeses)
  • Sweet chestnuts

Local drinks

  • Loire valley wines (Pouilly, Vouvray, Sancerre)
  • Gentian liqueur
  • Auvergne wine (St Pourçain)
  • Local beers

And here are some very local dishes 

  • Petit Salé aux lentilles (Pork chuck stew with lentils)
  • Sweet chestnuts blood pudding
  • Truffade (potatoes roasties with cheese and lard)
  • Aligot (garlic and cheese mash potatoes)
  • Potée Auvergnate (Pork, cabbage and veggies stew)

Desserts or sweets

  • Clafoutis (cherry flan cake)
  • Creusois (roasted hazelnuts cake)
  • Pralines de Montargis (almond coated in a “secret” glazing)

As part of our introduction to French gastronomy our award wining Food Tours always contain some regional flavouring.

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