Food and Wine from the Auvergne Region

Food and Wine from the Auvergne Region

Auvergne region is a scenic place in the heart of France.  A well preserved environment of mountains, hills, rivers and forests providing tranquility for both body and mind.  It is also a gourmet heaven, renowned for its wine and cheeses.  It’s got great local cuisine making it a foodie paradise.

Cheeses

The Auvergne regions is France’s top producer of high quality cheese products with 5 different AOP labelled cheeses.  Visitors can take a cheese tasting tour dubbed the Route des Fromages.  This tour will educate you on cheese production from milking to aging.

  1. Bleu D’Auvergene: Aged for five weeks. A favorite of chefs around the world
  2. Saint-Nectaire:  Borrowing its name from its place of production, it produces 6,000 tons of cheese from 250 producers.  It is ripened on straw giving a distinct flavor.
  3. Cantal:  Aging of Cantal cheese is carried out in the region’s former railway tunnels.  There are 3 types of Cantal Cheese categorized by the stage at which they were harvested.  These are young, aged and in between.
  4. Salers: This cheese borrows its name from an entrancing village in Cantal.  The cheese from Salers breed of cows is aged for two years which gives it a fruity flavor.
  5. Fourme D’Ambert: This cheese is mild blue with a distinct cylindrical shape.  It is one of France’s oldest cheeses and it is known for being smooth and creamy.

Legumes

Harvested from Le-Puy-en-Velay, puy green lentils are a dried vegetable known for it unique taste.  It is widely used in traditional dishes in Auvergne most notably Petit Sale, which is salted pork belly.

Beef and Cured Meats

Salers beef is popular throughout Auvergne.  Mountain air is used in drying salted cuts which are then mixed with different fruits like hazelnuts, chestnuts and blueberries to bring out a unique blend of tastes.

Wines

Auvergne was the preferred place for Kings to get their wines in ancient history.  Its significance remained up to the late 19th century when an invasion of phylloxera pests ruined the industry.  However young producers and the introduction of technology has seen the industry rise again.

Auvergne is known for it divine wines and boasts AOC accredited wines of Saint Pourcain and Cotes D’Auvergne vineyards thriving in the rich organic soils of the regions.

Wine  enthusiasts can enjoy a visit to wine museums in Aubiere which used to serve as a wine cellar.  Beautiful villages throughout Auvergne such as Montperyoux have a rich history in wine making  and offer tasting tours to tourists and visitors.

Things to Do in Auvergne

Things to Do in Auvergne

Auvergne is an extensive region of Central France. It is one of the 26 administrative regions of France. Clemont-Ferrand is the capital of the region. Home to two Regional Natural Parks namely the Auvergne Volcanoes Park and the Livradois-Forez Park the region also has 10 spa towns and over 50 chateaus to visit along the ‘Route des Chateaus d’Auvergne’. The administrative region of Auvergne at present is larger than that of the historical province of Auvergne.

The Region

The region contains many volcanoes, though the last confirmed eruption took place around 6000 years ago. The history of Massif Central is so ancient that some of it can only be measured or explained on a geological time scale. Auvergne is one of the least populated regions of the whole of Europe. The region has a strong peasant cuisine that has also spread to the rest of the France. The average annual temperature in Auvergne is 12 degrees centigrade. Being sparsely populated, Auvergne boasts of rich natural and cultural heritage. It is a place adored by both nature enthusiasts and those in search of a holiday.

The volcanic mountain range of Massif Central covers a large part of Auvergne region. It is a region consisting of vast green open spaces with lakes, extinct volcanoes, forests, as well as some of the best hiking places that could be found in France. From north to south with the exception of the small ascent that occurs around the Plateau de Millivaches, the terrain becomes flat and much rockier. The highest mountain is 6180 ft. The large part of the region lies over 1000ft above the sea level.

Places of Interest

The Mont Dore which is a spa town, located at the head of the Dordogne river just underneath the Puy de Sancy, is an excellent location for hiking and is hence very popular among hiking enthusiasts. Auvergne being the largest volcanic region of Europe has many beautiful mountains and places where people like to visit. The Auvergne Historical Chateaus Route is also very popular and the Art and History listed area of the Haut Allier Valley is a magnificent natural environment and home for the musical program during the summer season. The Vulcania theme park safari park, cable cars to the peaks of the highest mountains, rafting and kayaking facilities, mountain biking tracks, and many such things make it a perfect destination to go to for all sorts of people and all sorts of activities.

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