Cuisine of Pays de la Loire
With its Atlantic Coast setting, the cuisine of Pays de la Loire is largely dominated by fresh seafood and complemented by fine wines. That’s not to say that the gastronomic delights of the region originate solely from the waters of the Atlantic; inland produce such as a rich array of meats, fruits, and vegetables all have their place in traditional dishes.
What is most noticeable about the produce of the Pays de la Loire region is its remarkably high standard. From tender meats originating from the farms of the area, to the delicious dairy produce that has found its way into international cuisine, the food of Pays de la Loire is full in flavour and locally sourced. Arguably the most famous recipe to emerge from the fields of Pays de la Loire is the beurre blanc sauce. A butter source made from white wine and local butter, beurre blanc is best enjoyed with fresh fish such as seared tuna or roasted cod with winter ratatouille.
Those with a penchant for quality seafood will find that Pays de la Loire offers the finest selection in all of France. From fresh shellfish such as the mussels of Aiguillon and the oysters of Port du Bec, to fresh water delicacies such as salmon and pike, Pays de la Loire seafood is packed with variety.
For something to satisfy those with a sweet tooth, diners need look no further than the popular petit beurre biscuit of Nantes. Having originated in the city during the 19th century, this classic French butter cookie has inspired a number of imitators around the globe, with the all-butter recipe, golden brown finish and distinctive shape all contributing to its wide appeal. Equally as refined is the chocolate-covered variety, the petit ecolier, distinctive in appearance with the image of a traditional schoolboy formed in milk chocolate.
Acclaimed wines and spirits
Like all products of the Pays de la Loire, the wines across the region are of the highest standard, with many claiming AOC. In addition to the wines available, Pays de la Loire is also renowned for developing a range of spirits and liqueurs that have achieved international acclaim. The traditional syrup known as Le Nantillais is widely enjoyed, while the orange liqueur, Cointreau, has become a firm favourite around the globe since it was first developed in Angers in 1849.