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Local produce

The symbolic dishes
To Discover a territory, it also is to take time to learn about new culinary flavors. The kitchen reinvents every day by allying the gustative qualities of local products to the creativity of the "Leaders". New dishes, in the festive colors, are developed for most great pleasure of the gourmands and the gourmets.
While waiting for to push the door of the restaurant owners here is some sins of gluttony: stuffed inhabitant of Poitou, ham traditional white beans, wipes in lumas (snails cooked in the red wine), frogs' legs, kid pricked in the green garlic and the angelica for the sweet food.

The angelica
Niort and the Swamp from Poitou are the cradle of the biggest aromatic plant known about the world: " the angelica ". According to the tradition, the archangel Raphaël (" God cures us " in Hebrew) made discover to the Xth century to the man the plant in the numerous medicinal virtues. It is tonic, stomachique, sudorific, antispasmodic, carminative, purgative, expectorante, emménagogue, digestive and anti-pesteuse! It looks after the tuberculosis, after the malaria, after the typhoid, after the smallpox, after the rheumatisms, after the cellulite, after the diarrhea, after the drop, after ulcers, after the anaemia, after the powerlessness, the bites and the troubles of teeth. After the terrible plague of 1603, " the grass of the angels " is cultivated in big, feet in the water and the head in the sun.
From head to foot, everything is good in the archangelica " angelica ": seeds, stalks, sheets and roots. Today, the umbelliferae is transformed to make some liqueur, crystallized stalks, sculptured subjects, cream, jam, candies and chocolates. In 2006, the crystallized angelica was qualified and approved by the Regional Institute of the Food-processing Quality (IRQUA). It enters the composition of the suze, the pernod, the chartreuse, the Benedictine and perfumes the gin and the vodka. It is also used in beauty care, in perfume shop and in phytosanitary products. Today, an association of promotion, producers-transformers, craftsmen bakers-pastry cooks and restaurant owners work indefatigably to restore her letters patents.
Do not miss to enjoy her during your stay. She tastes version salted as a poivrade on the parthenaise or with some fish either sweet version, delicious mixture with the apple or the chocolate. 

The Traditional white bean
It is in the black earth of the Wet Swamp, fertilized by wintry floods, that are cultivated traditional white beans. A part of the harvest is consumed fresh whereas the other one is dried on tourettes (pickets on which are installed feet of traditional white beans after lifting). This haricot bean is a very appreciated traditional dish.

Chabichou, between myth and reality
The history of the only goat cheese from Poitou-Charentes having the AOC (protected designation of origin) would begin during the Arabic invasions. In 732, Charles Martel stops the Moors in Poitiers. In their collapse, the Saracens abandon their meat safe which would be at the origin of a local race: the inhabitant of Poitou. Moreover, the chabichou word would ensue from Arabic " chebli " meaning goat. In fact, goat of Poitou, exploited since the Neolithic, knows an expansion from the period of the Roman Gaul! As for the name of the cheese, it arises from the evolution of the old inhabitant of Poitou " chabre ", the goat in French.

The Butter of Echiré
Its taste, fine and delicate his soft texture arise at the same time from the country but also from the manufacturing process. From 1904, the butter of Echiré was classified among the most sophisticated. Since then, all the men who became attached to his history worked so that he is best of the world. Been of use to the Elysee since René Coty (1956), to Buckingham Palace, to the Principality of Monaco and used by the leader Inhabitant of Poitou Joël Robuchon.

The Scofa is a creamy cake made by the Carmel of Bessines and the name of which consists of initials of its ingredients: sugar, cream, flour and almonds. The secret of the recipe is lovingly (safe) kept by the cloistered nuns who made wish of silence!

The wine-making past of the Plain of Courance
This rural territory was a wine-producing region classified " Ordinary Wood " in the AOC (protected designation of origin) "Cognac", producing brandies and wines of rather good quality, of which the most famous of the department was the one of Foye-Monjault consummate in the court of kings of France (François 1st, Henri IV) and of England. But, at the end of the XIXth century, the crisis of the phylloxera transforms these vineyards into lands of breeding with the birth of the dairy cooperatives. The memory of this beverage of former days is revived by the protection of the huts of vineyard called "canteens" today (huts used formerly to take a snatch there and tidy up tools) and the organization on 2nd Sunday of October of the Party of wines and country (Wine fair and in the regional products).
The area of protected designation of origin "Cognac, Brandy of Cognac" or "Brandy of the Charente" covers an enclave in Charente-Maritime and in South Deux-Sèvres called "Wood to country" or "Ordinary". This vineyard, the last one of six regional naming, represents 1 % of the total production of white wines distilled in cognac. On the Conurbation of Niortais, the geographical area concerns Le Bourdet, Prin-Deyrançon, Priaires, Mauzé-s.-le-Mignon, La Rochénard, Usseau, Beauvoir-s.-Niort, Belleville, La Foye-Monjault, Granzay-Gript, Prissé-la-Charrière, St-Etienne-la-Cigogne, Boisserolles and Thorigny-s.-le-Mignon. 
The vine négrette, a vineyard native of Cyprus, is of the family of the "pinot noir". Aromatic red wine was little used, it remains original. Its former names are "appetizing ", " disgusting" or " crazy black ". The grape of La Foye-Monjault, stemming from this vine, is converted into wine at the wine-making high school of Montreuil-Bellay ( Maine-et-Loire) to give the " vintage of the forefathers ".

To consume in moderation, the alcohol abuse is dangerous for the health

The Cognac: the " liqueur of the gods " (Victor Hugo)
Originally, wines of Aunis and Saintonge, suffering long journeys at sea, were distilled on arrival, in the countries of the North Sea: brandy obtained later additionnement of water and taking the name of " brandwine ", then Brandy which means " burned wine ". From the XVIIth century, its transformation comes true on the spot. Indeed, further to a slump, we notice that the unsold stocks improve by aging and can consume pure. " The brandy of Cognac ", mentioned in the XVIIIth century, begin to be considered as the best of the world. The oldest names of trade house are Martell (1715), Hennessy (1765) and Otard (1795).
The liqueur obtains in 1904 the Protected designation of origin (AOC). Its geographical zone of 90.000 hectares of surface produces 8 million hectoliters on almost all of Charente-Maritime, three-quarters of the Charente, the North of the Dordogne and the South of Deux-Sèvres. It is bounded by regional naming which are in ascending order: big and small Champagne, Borderies, Fine Wood, Good Wood and Ordinary Wood. Big cognac is from the vineyards of the Big and the Small Champagne between Cognac and Jonzac.
The Cognac, made from a white wine (ugni white in 98 %), is distilled in a said still "Charentais", then aged in barrels in oak of Limousin. The evaporation, named the " Part of the Angels ", gives him its alcoholic strength and amounts to a "useful" loss of more than 20 million bottles a year. These vapors of alcohol feed a microscopic mushroom, the " torula compniacensis ", which darkens stones of houses cognaçaises. Then, the Cellar master transfers the nectar in the oldest is, then assembles it in lightnings which are barrels of very big capacity painted in white to stop the evaporation. To be consumer loan and marketed, the beverage has to age at least 2 years counted from the April 1st of the year following the grape harvest, this date corresponding to the end of the period of distillation. The obtained brandy titles in 40-42 % of alcohol.

To consume in moderation, the alcohol abuse is dangerous for the health

For the pleasure of the division on the return to your stay, the Tourist office suggests you below some addresses of producers and manufacturers of regional products.

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