Magnificent castles, enchanted landscapes - and lavish pleasures for body and soul:
If God came to France, he would live in the LOIRE VALLEY
France's longest river still inspires dreams. The much-praised castles on its banks have hardly lost any of their charm to this day. Which may also have something to do with the fact that their significance is not just of a historical or art-historical nature. At the same time, they are unmistakable monuments to an artfully refined way of life.
The heart of the Loire with the provinces of Anjou and Touraine is called the Garden of France. This is where the cherries grow for the incomparable Guignolet, a robust liqueur, or the Belle Angevine pears, which are so popular when cooked in red wine as a dessert. And of course strawberries, melons and other high-quality fruits. There is also no shortage of vegetables here.
The image of the garden suggests both idyll and harmony and thus describes the cornerstones of a lifestyle in which balance was as fundamental as the exquisite taste, which is also reflected in the buildings. They are built from tuff that was quarried from tunnels that run for miles along the slopes above the Loire.
These old quarries not only provide ideal conditions for mushroom growers today, these man-made caves are also among the best wine cellars in the world. In Saumur they knew how to use them masterfully to produce high-quality sparkling wine. In Vouvray, legendary sweet wines mature there, and in Bourgueil it is the red wines that, after decades, develop the finesse that is characteristic of this region.
The Loire still offers the wealth of ingredients without which refined cuisine is unthinkable. Whether their numerous species of fish, whether feathered or small game, whether lambs or calves, whether Charolais cattle or the wonderful goat cheeses, which are among the best in France. For example the little Chabichou, which I have already reported on here in the blog.
And if you simply enjoy fish with the delicious "beurre blanc", the classic butter sauce, you might try a slightly riper Muscadet sur lie, which fully develops the aroma of its yeasts and still seems to carry the freshness of the Atlantic which the diverse Loire finally flows into after 992 kilometers.
I hope you've become a little curious.