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Gastronomy and the Loire Valley in France

Everyone knows French cooking is one of the best in the world if not the best. With more than 365 cheeses, thousands of different wine producers, foie gras, sea food, fishes and good meat, and of course specialties like snails, frogs' legs, bouillabaisse, pot au feu, and boeuf bourguignon, France is a paradise for those who like quality and innovative cuisine. The Loire Valley known as "the Garden of France" is a fertile place where a rich farm land is spread on both sides of the Loire river. The region became the favourite residence of French Kings from the middle ages to the Renaissance.

Little by little, strongholds had become magnificent castles of the Renaissance, which had been restored during the 17th and 18th centuries. These castles tell about the suprising history of the great kingdom of France and display the charm of its fabulous past. The Castles still stand in all their glory representing the majesty and grandeur of the architecture of that period. Each aspect of a French speciality has a root, origin, tradition, and cult attached to it by the French. This is because of the sheer diversity of excellent products and related recipes available all over France.

The french have an amazing affinity for the land. It is part of their identity. Classic French cuisine is very much on the menu in most restaurants in the Loire Valley. The French table is a deity - a great social organizer and leisure activity.

If French gastronomy has such prestige, it is because the French spend their time on it. Meat specialities of the Loire Valley include pork rillettes (a coarse pate), not to be confused with another very tasty, more local tradition, rillons (big chunks of pork cooked in pork fat). With so many forests in the Loire Valley, the region's restaurants are strong on game. Autumn is the season not just for wild game, notably venison and wild boar, but also wild mushrooms. Freshwater River and lake fish take pride of place in dishes.

or lamprey, Vegetables thrive in the sandy soils around the Loire River. Local asparagus is delicious in spring. Most vegetables have a long season.

Goat's cheese are a particular speciality of the region. Tarte Tatin, upside-down apple tart, is a classic of the Loire Valley region. The area is rich in excellent apples and pears, tasty strawberries and melons.

The French have a sweet tooth and they love rich, creamy, chocolate patisseries and they insist on quality. Blois has exceptional patisseries. The tourist route around the vineyards of the Loire valley leads foodies and wine lovers from cellars to vineyards, offering wine-related discoveries punctuated by visits to imposing castles, abbeys, cave dwellings and gardens along the Loire, now classed as part of the world heritage of mankind by UNESCO. Because, French gastronomy is a veritable paradise you should try it at least once in a lifetime.

Corina Clemence runs Chateau du Guerinet, near Blois a luxury castle for up to 15 people set in the middle of a 4000 acre forest perfect for visiting Loire Valley's chateaux vineyards restaurants and markets. Rent a castle in France Rent a french chateau


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