What to Eat in Deux Charentes?

What to Eat in Deux Charentes?

From the freshest of seafood to hearty meat stews and dishes, the ‘two Charentes’ in western France can offer visitors a delectable feast, all washed down with the local apéritif drinks.

It all starts with the seafood, naturally. And sooner or later, you’re going to find yourself shucking an oyster. These bivalves are the star gastronomic attraction on this portion of the Atlantic coast, but the most famous of all are the Marennes-Oléron oysters which spend the latter stages of their lives in brackish water, giving them their distinctive nutty flavour. The mussels here, many of them grown on ropes curled around long wooden poles, or bouchots are rather special too.

Bottles of cognac

For a bit of turf with their surf, some Charentais eat garden snails in a dish called cagouilles à la charentaise snails cooked in white wine, carrots, garlic, onion, thyme, bay leaves, tomato and a dash of cognac.

There’s also plenty of food that doesn’t come in a shell: try Charentais grillons (a pork dish), Chalais veal, Barbezieux chicken, lapin à la saintongeaise (rabbit casserole) or potatoes from the Île de Ré. The best known local cheeses are Manslois and Joncheé. For dessert, there’s galette Charentaise (a spongy cake), kroumir (marzipan dipped in sugar), pichotte (marzipan dipped in chocolate) or the famous Charentais melon.

Cognac is the obvious liquid to wash all this down, double-distilled and aged in oak casks to give it its distinctive flavour. You’ll also quaff lots of pineau des Charentes, a popular apéritif made from a blend of lightly fermented grape must and cognac.

From France today Magazine

Want to know more about French food and try new recipes? Head to Taste of France for more foodie inspiration!

Lead photo credit : © Shutterstock

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