Chinon

Gastronomy

GASTRONOMY IN THE CHINONNAIS
Chinon, like most of Touraine,
is renowned for its gastronomy. Apart from the obvious example of its wines there are freshwater fish, including pike, lamprey eels and migrating sea fish such as grey mullet and shad caught in the waters of both the Loire and Vienne. Pig-derived specialties such as rillettes (a rough and fatty potted pork, although examples can be found using goose, duck or even rabbit) and rillons, chunks of pork belly cooked in lard, are standard Tourangelle cuisine.

Goat’s milk cheese is also very traditional in the region and comes in a wide variety of forms; from mild and young to strong and mature. From within the demarcated area for wine, there is also one appellation contôlée cheese: Sainte-Maure de Touraine. Its manufacture dates back to the 8th Century during a period when the region was under attack from the Moors who had migrated here from southern Spain. After the Saracens were repelled at Poitiers, they left behind a culture of goat farming and the production of cheese from their milk.

Sainte-Maure de Touraine has enjoyed its own AC for since 1990 and it is produced all year round. It is soft and log-shaped with a fine coating of oak charcoal. Both its area and manufacture are strictly controlled. Milk heated to 18-20c is allowed to coagulate for 24 hours before being cast in 15cm log-shaped molds and drained. At this point, a long rye straw inserted through the centre; its purpose is to hold the fragile cheese together and to help ventilate the interior. It is then covered in ash and allowed to age for a legal minimum of 10 days (although is usually more like 2-4 weeks). After its affinage, the cheese weights around 250 grams and has a light blue-grey appearance, a nutty aroma with a fine texture and a faint sourness on the palate. The finished log is then usually engraved with the producer’s name. 

Another local specialty is the fouace, a type of medieval sandwich made from a rustic flat loaf (which resembles pita bread) filled with an assortment of meat, fish, goat’s milk cheese or vegetables. It was immortalized by François Rabelais in Gargantua where, in one adventure, a fight breaks out between the shepherds and fouace-makers of Lerné (the village close to La Devinière where Rabelais was brought up). In the same work, he describes how fouaces are made using water, egg yolks, saffron and spices: "...fouaces faites è beau eau, beaux moyeux d'oeufs, beau saffran et belles épices..." The local tradition continues today, with the inhabitants of Lerné claiming its invention.  

RETAIL OPPORTUNITIES:

Fromagerie – Le Vazereau
83 Route du Côteau
LA ROCHE-CLERMAULT
T: + 33 2 47 93 18 89
F: + 33 2 47 93 91 46
fromagerie@levazereau.fr
www.levazereau.fr
The élevage and production of the local Sainte-Maure de Touraine goat’s milk cheese was created in 1959 by Maurice and Hélène Vazereau and is perpetuated by François Laurent who continues the family tradition.

Boulangerie-Pâtisserie - Le Fournil du Château
16 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau
CHINON
T: + 33 2 47 93 17 65
Sylvie and Laurent Cherbonnier run the best boulangerie in town, baking a selection of rustic and organic loaves.

Boulangerie-Pâtisserie – Au Plaisir de Chinon
11 Rue du Commerce
CHINON
T: + 33 2 47 93 39 17
 

Boulangerie-Pâtisserie – La Tour de l’Horloge
Place Mirebeau
CHINON
T: + 33 2 47 93 17 07
La Tour de l’Horloge is a stockist for La Parisse, a baguette imported from the ovens of one of most respected boulangeries in Paris every morning.

Pâtisserie – Hayrole
5 Rue de l’Hôtel de Ville
CHINON
T: + 33 2 47 93 07 15
Patrice Hayrole is a renowned pâtissier in the region.

Fromagerie – Ferme de la Boutinière
4 Route du Coudray
SEUILLY
T: + 33 2 47 95 90 18
This farm produces local goat’s milk cheese in various styles: Crottins, Chabis, Pyramides and Bûchettes. Open from 09h30 – 13h30, 18h00 – 20h00 except Sunday afternoon.

Caviste – Au Tastevin
12 bis, Rue du Grenier à Sel
CHINON
T: + 33 6 87 79 17 12
autastevin@wanadoo.fr



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